Review: Separate Beds by Elizabeth Buchan

I like the cover of this book but it’s another one that threw me off the real content of Separate Beds. For some reason, I expected more humour in Separate Beds. That cover strikes me as a bit funny in a 'chick-lit' sort of way - but I don't think it was meant to be that at all. I'm not sure if that's my (wrongful) misinterpretation or more the fault of whoever chose the cover. In any case, what I read was a thoughtful and intense family drama. Despite not being the read I expected this was a great book.

This book was set in the UK and I think that reflects in the author’s non-sparing dialogue. The characters responses are short and to the point – the diaglogue treats the reader intelligently and does not overly describe the action. The characters are both good and faulted and it’s difficult to dislike them – even the absentee (and judgmental) daughter.

Elizabeth Buchan paints a very real picture of a family in crises dealing with true-to-life problems that have plagued many families, especially so in recent years. Unemployment, parenthood and marriage are some of the issues the Nicholsons face. How they deal with these problems as a family and individually present very interesting scenarios. There is good and the bad, maturity and childishness. I didn’t like the behaviour of some of the characters (and at times felt frustrated at their reactions to their problems and to each other) but nevertheless, I could understand them. And honestly, I couldn’t claim to behave any better given the same circumstances.

The plot was well done and whenever I put the book down I was anxious to get back to it. I rooted for this family and was pleased at their successes and disappointed at their failures. It’s a story everyone can relate to.

I recommend to all who enjoy a good family story intelligently done.


bermudaonion on February 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM said...

I'm glad to see the book was so good, even if it was different than what you expected.

Staci on February 10, 2011 at 3:44 PM said...

I'm glad I read your review because I'm not sure that the cover would've pulled me in. I love the whole concept and it certainly sounds like one I would enjoy!

TheBookGirl on February 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM said...

I understand why you thought this would have been a lighter read -- the cover gave me that impression as well. Nice that you were pleasantly surprised :)


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