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    Generations

    Jennifer Ebert is 19 and about to embark on her second year at University, sadly the Halls Of Residence aren't ready and a local Nursing Home has opened it's doors to the students. It isn't all altruistic though, they can get a nice fat grant for them in the name of bringing the generations together. Sounds like quite a good premise for a book and, on the whole it is. However, it is let down by the need to add a mystery in to the mix - honestly, it genuinely spoils the story. The sections that deal with the personalities of the residents and how they rub up against, and along with, the young students are quite good. Each person has a distinct personality, voice and back story (admittedly some are a little overblown) and the way they relate to each other can be a joy. The mystery of who is stealing their prized possessions just hovers there and never really forms properly, leaving you wondering why it's there in the first place. I was left feeling like I never really got to know anyone in the book and this made it quite difficult to really care about the outcome. Ringo is too saintly for a 19 year old boy/man, Jennifer is so far up herself she has almost inverted, the residents are all caricatures of old people (Joe who wants to live a youth he never had and indeed tried to, the racist ex-soldier, the evil tempered old woman, the scatty old woman and the glamorous old woman) - telling that I can remember few names only a handful of days (5 if you're counting) since I finished the book. I marked this down in my notepad as a 3 Star but on reflection I fear that may be a tad generous but I'll stick with it.
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