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    Hummingbirds

    On the whole I enjoyed this book but there were some writing devices used that served more to irk me than draw me in to the story. Whether the tale is told from Marilyn's 1990's standpoint or Angie's contemporary one there is the constant inserting of songs and their artists in to the tale. I know that music can be important in our lives and that certain songs become inextricably linked with personal events. However, the constant "and strains of such and such could be heard from passing cars / behind windows" throughout the book began to grate after a while. I felt it justified in the initial courtship of James and Marilyn and the use of the mix tape to link past and present but then it became, for me, an intrusion in to the story. The tale itself is actually a really good one about finding yourself through your family and how important the history of that family is to shaping who you are as a person. Although Angie is a bit of a whiny, self-absorbed brat even her tale is relatively enjoyable. Personally, I was much more invested in Marilyn and her helicopter mother Sylvie and Marilyn's struggle to escape from what her mother wanted her to be and what she wanted for herself. I was a little dismayed that Marilyn felt going to College would be her salvation and the making of her as a person but her situation is pretty desperate in lots of ways so I suppose it makes sense in some small ways. I would have liked more from James' perspective in this book as he is such a pivotal character in the lives of both mother and daughter and yet we see so little of him. His home life is pretty much idealised - his father may be very much a summer holiday kind of dad and his mother is dead so you would imagine that he is a doom and gloom gang type boy. But no, he is living with his grandparents who have created this harmonious sanctuary for their 2 grandsons that is filled with the love and respect that I am pretty sure only ever exists in the pages of books and on movie screens. It does serve a useful juxtaposition to Marilyn and Sylvie's almost couch surfing existence. I really could not fully engage with either the tale or the people in it for some reason. The writing style is fairly straightforward with no showy "look what I learnt in Creative Writing class" bits but it just didn't grab me and make me care enough. It started off very strongly and I was sucked in but the longer I read the more that fell away and the less I engaged with the people and the places. Not every book is for everyone and I just know that some people will be completely in love with this book and likely for some of the reasons that I became disenchanted with it. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
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