Ellipsis by Nikki Dudley
|Ellipsis by Nikki Dudley|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie|
|Summary: This debut novel opens with a horrific death, then it's suspense all the way till the end. It's also how the ellipsis of daily life can have drastic consequences.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 320||Date: April 2010|
|Publisher: Sparkling Books Ltd|
Both the title and book cover are slick and glossy. Can the contents live up to this positive image? Straight away the reader is drawn into Daniel's life ... but the clock is ticking. He will soon be spoken about in the past tense. He dies and leaves many, many questions that his immediate family struggle to answer. But as the story progresses we discover that secrets have been kept for a long time. Why? Too disturbing to reveal?
I sensed almost immediately Dudley's writing style as poetic, dreamy, enigmatic. She has lovely descriptive images on almost every page. Let me give you a flavour ... by the only drawer half open, like a partly opened wound. and ... the questions remain inside Thom like ulcers ...
The story is told throughout by Sarah. She appears to have many issues that she's either unwilling or unable to deal with. She's somehow involved in Daniel's death and she's caught up in a whirlpool of emotions. She finds it difficult to live a normal day-to-day life, the working/shopping/paying bills/meeting up with friends type of thing. In short, she's a mess.
Bit by bit, Dudley reveals Sarah's sad background. They say that it's not what happens to us in life, but rather how we cope with these events, that make us who we are. Sinkers or swimmers. Or perhaps snivelling wrecks, best foot forward, live to fight another day etc. As is apt with the book's title (which I love) there's a shed-load of half-finished sentences all over this novel And it works, on the whole. But sometimes, less is more.
Sarah's state of mind unfolds nicely and a feeling of suspense builds up. How's she going to cope? What's she going to do now? The plot itself meanders along. For me, there were one or two weak areas. For instance, it didn't seem natural that Sarah call a woman she's only just met, Aunty Val. In fact, the whole Aunty Val scenario was plain awkward and didn't flow naturally. I can see why Dudley kept saying it time and time again but even so ...
I also felt at times that Dudley could have been writing poetry. There's enough here for a slim edition, I'm sure and while creative and original I did feel as if it slowed down the pace a bit. Some more tight, tense lines would have been welcome, from my point of view. But if you like that drifty, dreamy feel then this book will appeal. But conversely, some readers may become a little distracted due to overly-descriptive paragraphs.
There's a nice theme running throughout with the colour red. Red for passion? Danger? It's also the colour of blood. We eventually discover most of the secrets which have been locked away in memories for so long. I must admit to finding the novel overly long and wandering rather aimlessly at times. I suspect it gave Dudley a platform for her poetic voice. I also found the ending weak and unconvincing. Overall, not as sparkling as the cover suggests.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ellipsis by Nikki Dudley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Ellipsis by Nikki Dudley at Amazon.com.
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