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A very good first novel with one significant flaw
on April 7, 2012
"What man worships...is indicative of his very essence, for reverence is man's deepest form of love, one which holds the key to his soul."
This passage holds the key to the entire novel, and how to understand the characters. The first half of the novel mainly focuses on the one character who changes fundamentally in this respect, as he tries to solve the mystery of what the other main character worships and simultaneously begins to undergo a profound change in his own deepest values. At first, I wanted the book to focus more on the other character earlier on, but came to appreciate what the author was doing.
Unfortunately, when the crucial moment comes it is not entirely convincing. She just talks rather abstractly about life and faith for a couple of paragraphs, and he says, "Everything you say makes perfect sense," and he's completely convinced and that's that. It's all too obvious that the author was not raised to be and has never been religious and has no idea what that's like. Not that this kind of fiction should be naturalistic, but for such a critical plot point to be convincing it at least needs to be somewhat realistic.
But after that the book gets back on track and picks up more and more until it reaches its excellent climax and conclusion. On the whole, a very good first novel. I'll be looking forward to her next.