An Ocean Apart


Linda assured me that An Ocean Apart would have a «proper» ending, so finding it in Oxfam in Aberdeen, I decided to give Robin Pilcher another chance. It ends well, I can affirm that, on the other hand I didn’t find this story anywhere near as engaging as Starting Over, despite the fact that the main characters are involved in the whisky industry. It reads well, and kept me occupied on various trains and buses, but it lacks a certain something to make it really good. So, still not entirely happy. I seem to be in the mood for disapproving of books at the moment. Well, I hope whoever picks it up from where I left it in London will enjoy it more than I did.

Starting Over

In which a new beginning is completely the wrong end.


Having read and enjoyed all of Rosamund Pilcher’s books, I have been meaning to pick up her son’s novel An Ocean Apart, but never got round to it. In Waterstone’s in Brighton I found his latest volume, Starting over, and thought: «Why not?» So it made its way into my shopping bags (along with, it must be said, rather a lot of other books). I thought this might do well for holiday reading, and I was right. I expected the novel to last me until Scotland (Sunday) at least, as it didn’t seem like I’d read that much earlier on in the week, but I started it on the Thursday in Clonmel and finished it on the bus to Dublin the next day. Once I had been caught up in the story it was well nigh impossible to put it down. Apart from obviously having mastered the design of plots that draw the reader on, Pilcher also creates characters that are believable and sympathetic. Having said that, I was NOT happy with the ending of this book – I still recommend it, but be forewarned that it does not «do what it says on the box» (it being a «they lived happily ever after» sort of box, and to my mind this was not how the story ended – which left me feeling somewhat cheated). I will leave it along the way somewhere…