First Snow, Last Light, by Wayne Johnston.
As always, I want to congratulate the author on creating a story that lives inside these pages. There are some beautiful moments where characters step off the page. Fielding is by far the most developed and interesting characters, with a beginning a middle and an end. In many ways, the book is about her, although it’s not really. She is a powerful character and written so well. I believed her voice, her pain, her progression. And I came to know Newfoundland a bit better at the time of its joining with Canada. That was very interesting.
But the main plot surrounding Ned and the loss of his parents didn’t work for me. It was all too disjointed and Ned was a very thin character. It felt like things were pieced together randomly. And rather than give hints here and there to keep the reader interested in the search for his parents, it lapsed into, well, nothing really. Then, all quickly revealed at the end through letters. Really unsatisfying. And the way Ned handles things at the end, out of character and highly disappointing.
The boy he adopts could easily have been taken out of the story and nothing would have been lost. And that’s how I felt about a lot of the book, that things didn’t really have meaning or connection or justification. I kept hoping something would shift and change, but it didn’t. And Ned, well, not a great or memorable hero of literature.
Sorry Mr. Johnston, but I was not inspired. 🙁
(first posted on Marina L Reed, Goodreads)