BOOK: TEN GOOD SECONDS OF SILENCE BY ELIZABETH RUTH
This book is about a mother and daughter, Lilith and Lemon Boot, and their respective journeys. Lilith is a psychic specializing in lost children who works with the police in Toronto and Lemon wishes she knew who her father was. Throughout the story we're given extensive flashbacks to Lilith's time in a Vancouver mental hospital and her relationship with fellow patients Randy and Mrs. Moffat, both of which contribute to her life and the story significantly.
I loved this book at first. I found the author's prose lush and interesting but as the novel wore on I began to find it overly self-indulgent and rather random. The story itself was quite interesting though teenage Lilith and teenage Lemon were shockingly bland narrators at time. Lilith was written in first person style and Lemon in third person omniscient so we both knew all their inner thoughts and I found it a little ridiculous that their inner monologue contained the same writing style as every other part of the book.
It also contained random portions where we followed Lemon's friend Jan and her male friend James. Both of these ended up being important in the end but were far too brief and not common enough throughout the book and that made it seem as though they could have been edited out completely to the same effect.
My biggest pet peeve is that whoever was in charge of making sure this book was ready to be printed was an absolute moron. I probably caught a dozen spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes - and we're talking glaring mistakes. There were quotation marks IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE; where there should have been to signify that someone had stopped speaking there were none and then they would start up again in the middle of a sentence. I don't even know. It took me right out of the book, obviously, because I had to get my pen and circle it.
Though I did enjoy most of the book, I found the emotional payoff quite rushed in the last three pages of the book. I also thought the author was trying to emulate the style of the vastly superior Ann-Marie MacDonald and just didn't succeed. It wasn't a bad novel, just a little overly indulgent and lacking in decent character development.