Refuge by Merilyn Simonds
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
DNF @ 40%
I really wanted to like this book. It has the common (these days) novel structure where there is a storyline in the present and a storyline in the past. And of course these storylines connect. In this case the old woman we see at the cottage whom receives an unexpected visitor is the young woman in the past story. However the majority of what I read kept us firmly put in the past which was fine by me.
The thing is however, Refuge is really boring. At some points it's brilliantly written and very exciting; but there are too many pages of describing parks, streets or the average day is described over and over again. I just don't care to know what it was like to have lunch in Central Park everyday.
Additionally, Merilyn Simonds does far too much telling and not enough showing. I didn't need to be told about New York City; I'd rather have had it shown for me. Describing the walks our lead gal takes is just dull. However had it been showing me what our lead gal saw as she walked the city that may/would have been different.
Just didn't care
The other major factor for my not finishing Refuge was that our lead gal as an old woman is kind of awful. And I get that there are probably reasons that would come out as the story progressed; but I just couldn't stand her. I also had a hard time with the future scenario that some girl just shows up on her secluded residence doorstep. It just didn't make a lot of sense to me. These factors contributing to me not caring about our lead gal or the mystery visitor. And honestly past that there are no more characters really worth investing effort in.
A book like Refuge needs to be based off solid, relatable characters. With so few points of interaction that last longer than a few chapters with our leading lady we really need to connect with her. That's not to say she has to be nice but she does need to make sense to the reader. For me this connection was missing and it ruins the whole experience of Refuge because I just didn't care what happened to our leading lady in her life. I also believe Refuge needed a strict editor to cut down on all the telling of scenery that happens. I barely tolerate that type of description in my favourite book (LOTR) of all time; therefore, it's highly unlikely I'll tolerate it in anything else.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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