Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review: The Whole World by Emily Winslow

Polly and Liv are both Americans studying at Cambridge University. They hit it off and then become involved with Nick, a fellow student. When Nick disappears, it sets off a chain of events that show Polly and Liv how little they really know about each other.


I really enjoyed reading this one. Though it gets off to a bit of slow start, I was soon embroiled in the intrigues and secrets of the characters. The narrative is set up a bit like a puzzle, switching point of views five times through the novel and each time giving us a clearer picture of events. This really worked on a plot level , and held my attention well.

None of the characters comes off as particularly likeable. I did start off liking Polly when she opened the book with her narration, but after seeing her through the others characters eyes, she seemed hard and unforgiving. Debut Author Winslow did a fabulous thing here though – she made me sympathize with her unlikeable characters, and she made me care. And that, of course, is quite a difficult feat to achieve.

THE WHOLE WORLD is out in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.

9 comments:

Jamie said...

This sounds intriguing. I don't do mystery novels that often but I enjoy when a novel has a bit of a mystery to it because I like wondering and trying to put the pieces together. I also know what you mean about how an author can make you sympathize with unlikable characters--it takes a great author to do that for me!

Amanda said...

Hm, I'm wondering what the meaning behind "get involved with" is in this case. Sounds like Nick is quite the character...

S. Krishna said...

I had really mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I loved the atmospheric nature, but I think it started so slowly that I felt the book dragged. Great review!

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad to see you enjoyed this. It's been in my TBR pile too long!

Zibilee said...

It's always cool when a book sucks you in despite unlikable characters, so I am really glad you ended up enjoying this one. It does sound like it's got a lot going for it, and I do enjoy narratives from multiple viewpoints as well. Great review, Lenore. I will have to check this out!

Staci said...

I'm wondering if I would enjoy this one or not...I have to connect with someone!!!

Stephanie said...

Never heard of this one but it sounds really good!

Lily Child said...

Wow...this definitely sounds interesting! I'm not a big mystery fan, but I'd be willing to give this a try! :)

Jenny Girl said...

Uh-oh! You have to watch out for yourself when abroad. These two certainly got into trouble. Thanks for the receommendation.
(Was referred over by Book on the Hill)