Monday, October 31

Book Review: Good to a Fault

Title: Good to a Fault

Author: Marina Endicott

Pages: 394

Summary: In a moment of self-absorption, Clara Purdy's life takes a sharp left turn when she crashes into a beat-up car carrying an itinerant family of six. The Gage family had been traveling to a new life in Fort McMurry, but bruises on the mother, Lorraine, prove to be late-stage cancer rather than remnants of the accident. Recognizing their need as her responsibility, Clara tries to do the right thing and moves the children, husband and horrible grandmother into her house - than has to cope with the consequences of practical goodness.

What, exactly, does it mean to be good? When is sacrifice merely selfisness? What do we owe in this life and what do we deserve? Marina Endicott looks at life and death through the compassionate lens of a born novelist: being good, being at fault, and fining some balance on the precipice.

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed the story and it's message, but I have to say for the first half of the story I was a little bored and I felt the ending was a bit forced to make it a "picture perfect one."

The beginning had an interesting premises, but I found it was dragged out longer than it needed to be .Most of the book described the day-to-day task the characters were going through, lovely writing and setting up the scene, but after awhile it became redundant and I grew bored with the story. Not a lot was happening, and I didn't feel the characters were being developed enough (near the end you see some great development, but the first half of the book, they seem to be standing still.) I also didn't enjoy how the POV was shifting as much as it did. There wasn't much flow into a new POV, it just switched from one to the other. I also didn't like all of the side plots, I felt like they distracted from the main story line and some of them didn't help develop the characters nor, did they help me understand them. Dolly's side story for example you saw her actions, but never really saw her learn from them, understood the background of it. Near the end the book does have a good twist, and I enjoyed the emotional affect it had on the character, the author did do a good job at showing the emotional turmoil the character faced.

I did enjoy the writing of the book - the author is a lovely writer and she can tell a story. I didn't like her style of narrative, but I know many readers would really enjoy it. The idea of the story was also good, although I can't fathom doing what the main character did and I question a lot of her decisions or lack thereof, the story was still good. It has a very powerful message to it and the author did do a good job at showing the reader the message.

Overall not a bad book, not what I was expecting, but a good read.

Would I recommend it to read: I'd probably would, I think a lot of readers would get a lot out of the message the book sends.

What to read next: I want to read more from the author, see what her other works are like, writing was good, the POV shifting wasn't. So I want to see what her other novels are like.

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Canadian Reading Challenge V, Fall into Reading Challenge


  1. Though I think the premise of this book sounds fantastic, it sounds like the execution was not what it could have been. I am not sure that I would like this. I do thank you for your very honest and thoughtful opinions on this one!

  2. I'm one of those you've mentioned who did like the narrative style of this novel, although I was a bit suprised, because I had the impression it would be a quick read, whereas it ended up to be (for me) one of those books that you fall into and don't emerge from quickly. It took me much longer to read it than I'd expected it would!

    I just finished The Little Shadows and found it similar in that way (also a lot of detail, a lot of everyday life, which might seem dull or repetitive depending on your reading taste, but it's everyday life on the vaudeville circuit, which is rather interesting) but I had a hunch about it this time, so I was ready to read sloooowly.

  3. Zibilee - Yes, it wasn't what it could have been. The story is good, you may like it, it's hard to say. The book has received fairly positive reviews, for me it missed the mark.

    Buried in Print - It's good to read your perspective on it, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I also thought it would be a quick read. Now that I've experienced the author's writing style I can go into her other books with a different mind set, thanks for sharing.