I realize it may be unfair to compare one book to another book written by the same author – but I couldn’t help myself. As a huge fan of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, I was really look forward to reading another book by Alexander McCall Smith. Clearly I should have chosen a different one. Because I awarded only one star for this one on Goodreads.
THE FOREVER GIRL feels like a couple of short stories awkwardly thrown together.
• Amanda, a woman with two young children living on a beautiful Caribbean Island, who finds herself attracted to a man who is not her husband.
• Clover, Amanda’s daughter, with a lifelong passion for her best friend, James.
Smith goes back and forth a bit between the two stories as the years pass, just frequently enough to keep you from getting too emotionally involved with either of these main characters. So that, by the end, I wound up feeling that the author didn’t really know who or what this book was about.
By the time you get to the last third of the book, all focused on Clover, you start wondering if her passion for James borders on the psychotic.
Some other random characters are brought in (i.e. a blunt-speaking Australian actress, a deceitful childhood friend now living in Singapore) and you aren’t sure why.
Finally, in one single line, the author reverses Clover’s entire storyline, which feels abrupt, unreal, and unbelievable. Not very satisfying.
More about the author, Alexander McCall Smith.