This is a story of Nik, an art student, and his girlfriend Jennifer, a dancer. Like many eccentric artists, Nik is obsessive – especially when it comes to painting his dancer girlfriend. On the day Jennifer goes missing, Nik’s world falls apart.
With few clues to Jennifer’s past, Nik begins a cross-country trip to find her and encounters a Dickensian cast of characters and a little Truth about Jennifer, himself, and love along the way.
My first reaction was – this was a fast read! I’m not sure if that’s a good reaction or not, but at least it wasn’t a slow, dragging read.
My second reaction was – I enjoyed this. Author Suzanne Alyssa Andrew’s writing is crisp and gentle and her language just pulls a reader in.
Although Nik and Jennifer are the focus of the story, the book is told from the point of view of the people Nik meets on his journey. Thus, the ‘circle of stones’ are the people we meet.
This is a ‘concept’ book and I generally don’t like concept novels where the unique form is more important to the story, but Andrew keeps the story in focus. Still, there is something almost uncomfortable about this concept. We’re getting the story from minor characters who come in for a moment, seem important because of what they have to share, but then they’re gone. There becomes too many characters for such a tight story.
While I enjoyed the book and found it a quick read, ultimately it was a bit unsatisfying. I might normally suggest that this is a good beach read, but because of the rotating character/narrators it needs more attention than what a beach read usually gets. Perhaps this makes a good fireplace read.
Looking for a good book? Circle of Stones by Suzanne Alyssa Andrew is a well-written book but the unusual narrative format makes it just a little harder to recommend.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Circle of Stones
author: Suzanne Alyssa Andrew
paperback, 272 pages