ROSIE’S BOOK REVIEW TEAM #RBRT

rosie3

My review of  We Go Again by Michael Cargill

 My rating 3 out 0f 5 stars 

We Go Again

This novel is set in an era, the nineteen forties, that I love to read about. So why didn’t it quite hit the mark for me?

I have mixed feelings about this book and I’m not sure why. It’s obvious the author has done his research and the history of the Second World War is woven well throughout the plot. The story has a promising start; the characters are instantly developed in the first pages and the dialogue, on the whole, is believable. And there are some good ‘flat characters’; those who add to the backdrop, the locale, by their presence. The trouble for me was that I couldn’t decide who the protagonist was. Told from an omniscient narrator’s point of view the reader has access to all the internal thoughts of some of the characters – which is good – but the narrative switches so quickly from one to another that there isn’t time to empathise with any of them.A shame, because they all have such interesting potential.

Another problem, I think, is with the flashbacks. Although well written, there is no change in tense, no spacing; the reader is taken without warning to another time, another place. Although this does add to the back story of the characters, sometimes the flashbacks are so long it’s difficult to pick up the main story again. I found myself flicking back and forth in the narrative to remind myself where the soldiers were and what was taking place. Which was a shame because each section; the main story and the flashbacks are well written with gripping action scenes and descriptions that gave an immediate sense of place whether it is on the beaches of Dunkirk, inside a Lancaster Bomber, living in  the almost deserted village, whose inhabitants determinedly try to carry on with as normal a life as they can, the cold neglected building the soldiers take over or their contacts with the enemy

So why the doubts about We Go Again? I suppose it was that I never quite got lost in the story; I felt I was watching the action, rather that being there with the characters. I’m not sure that makes sense but I like to be absorbed by what I’m reading – to get that sense of ‘coming up for air’ from the fictional world.

 After I wrote this review I looked for the book on Amazon and Goodreads. It has one excellent five star review on Amazon, and more on Goodreads, which goes to show that people can only read a book from their own subjective point of view. So I would just recommend that you give this book a try for yourself.

I will certainly give the other books that Michael Cargill has written a go.

7 thoughts on “ROSIE’S BOOK REVIEW TEAM #RBRT

  1. Some interesting points raised here, and you aren’t the first person to mention they had some trouble with the way the perspective can switch from one character to another.

    I remember a reviewer talking about an omniscient narrator when they read one of my other books a couple of years ago, so it’s interesting to see someone else mention it for this one as well.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and taking the time to write a review on my work. In some ways a three-star review is the hardest type of review to respond to… and I’m going to guess that it’s probably the hardest type to write as well.

    Like

    • It was Michael, I had to cut it down to the bare bones. I love different perspectives but it’s devilish hard to maintain. I write that way myself and the way I get around it is to give each character their own chapters (perhaps that’s a cop out?!) And, as I said, the research underpins the story well. I did love the characters of James & David (especially David)- I thought they deserved a story. of their own. I did finish the book wondering what could happen to them after the war. As I said, as well, I’m going to try one of your other books. Recommendations? –

      Like

      • I certainly wouldn’t call it a cop out to separate each character into different chapters – I think it’s the most common way of doing it.

        With regards to recommending another book of mine, I’d go with Saying Goodbye to Warsaw which is set in the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. It’s the highest rated of my books, but if you’d prefer to read something set in modern times then I’d recommend Underneath which is a thriller.

        Did Rosie send you the link to the webpage where you can download my book files from?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Forgot to add that this is actually the second time I’ve used the characters of James and David – they’re also the stars of a short story in my Shades of Grey collection.

        I’m hoping to use them again at some point in the distant future!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s