Top critical review
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Well written and agonizing end to a good trilogy
on September 10, 2003
Forth Into Light does was so few books can do: It made me angry and it made me sad. It is so rare that a book can make real emotions erupt in me, so I must say that I think it was well done. I don't have to like what happens to my favorite character, but it does have to be believable and/or justifiable. However, I'll be honest - this was my least favorite of the three books.
This book is significantly different than the previous two books in the trilogy. It takes the focus off of Charlie and Peter and puts in on a whole village, with a slightly brighter light shining on a expatriate American writer and his son.
I wasn't always nuts about how the story moved along, because it seemed as if Merrick had become bored with his two lead characters and was attempting to "do" something with them beyond that which he'd already done. It often seemed as if there were two books here, neither of which was Merrick terribly committed to.
Ultimately I enjoyed the book because it finalized the two characters I'd come to love from the beginning (sometimes I could relate with Charlie and other times I could relate to Peter). In this final book, it is important to remember what was happening in Merrick's world as well as the 1960 world of the characters. The whole free love movement was in full swing for Merrick, but it was just finding its sea legs in 1960. That's all well and good, but it just seemed rather forced at times in the book.
Don't get me wrong. I did enjoy the book, but it was a less pleasurable read than the previous two books in the trilogy. But ya' gotta read it!