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The Return - did Victoria Hislop get one of her children to write it?

(17 Posts)
MrsMuddle Sun 19-Jul-09 15:58:26

I read The Island for my book group last year and enjoyed the story, if not the writing. I had no inclination to read another one of her books, but DS bought me The Return for my birthday, and he's been desperate for me to read it, so I took it on holiday.

The story is predictable and unbelievable at the same time, although the history of the Spanish civil war was mildly interesting, but the book reads like it was written by self-absorbed 14 year old.

For a start, it's about 200 pages too long, and it's full of cliches and over-elaborate descripions - it's like one of DS's essays when he's been told to use more adjectives!

I honestly can't remember when I last read such a badly written (or perhaps edited?) book. VH is probably a very good storyteller, but a crap writer.

Has anyone else read this?

kingfix Sun 19-Jul-09 16:07:01

I was given it but couldn't finish it, too boring. Only got a few pages in but the plot seemed too similar to the Island: young woman with boorish partner goes to med to find herself, plus understand her mysterious greek/spanish mother's past. Dad is nice, food is good, history lesson is absorbed. yawn.

mosschops30 Sun 19-Jul-09 16:10:33

Oh dear, was going to start this tonight hmm will i just put it straight in the charity bag?? (FWIW I loved the Island and everyone on here hated it).

Trouble is that I cannot not finish a book, no matter how dire it is

MrsMuddle Sun 19-Jul-09 16:22:50

mosschops, when I reached 40, I decided that life was too short to finish crap books, and I felt liberated when I realised that I didn't have to plough on to the end. Although, there have only been two that I've not finished - Capatain C's Mandolin and The Accidental.

If you really, really, really can't not finish a book, then I'd advise you to put it straight in the charity bag. It really is that bad.

MrsMuddle Wed 22-Jul-09 21:56:03

mosschops did you read it or put it straight in the charity bag?

bracingair Wed 22-Jul-09 22:02:54

Loved the island thought the return was dissapointing (sp?) too

corriefan Wed 22-Jul-09 22:12:02

oh dear I bought that on Monday from a charity shop, maybe it was yours!

Zoomum Wed 22-Jul-09 22:21:43

tried to read it twice, couldn't get past the first couple of chapters....cringy writing...but I did get into The Island

DarrellRivers Wed 22-Jul-09 22:26:29

Was it about leprosy? <v confused>

MrsMuddle Wed 22-Jul-09 22:29:01

The Island was about leprosy, yes. And The Return is about dancing / Spanish Civil War.

hocuspontas Wed 22-Jul-09 22:30:32

I only read a couple of chapters then donated it to our local library. I enjoyed The Island though and bought this on the strength of it. Probably wouldn't pick up another one of hers if there ever is one.

artifarti Wed 22-Jul-09 22:31:05

Lepers = The Island (which I quite liked too, she whispers)

The Return = Spanish civil war (which I haven't read)

artifarti Wed 22-Jul-09 22:31:44

Cross-post MrsMuddle!

Ioanna27 Thu 22-Aug-13 16:02:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LadyMilfordHaven Thu 22-Aug-13 16:03:34


CoteDAzur Thu 22-Aug-13 18:26:55

"The story is predictable and unbelievable at the same time... the book reads like it was written by self-absorbed 14 year old"

That sounds exactly like The Island smile Our book club was unanimous (for the 2nd time ever) re this book - all 10 of us hated it and were shock that it was even printed. One of our friends started writing a book after reading The Island because "surely it can't be that hard to get published in a world where this drivel was printed" grin

LadyMilfordHaven Thu 22-Aug-13 18:59:12

oh i liked the island!! the return nd all the others shit tho

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