I don't win stuff and yet, I recently stuck lucky, winning a competition at Goodreads for a copy of the long awaited Connie Willis book "Crosstalk". I've had a couple of projects on the go which meant that I've had to wait, but once I started, there was no stopping me.
I'd read three of Willis's offerings before and, like them, this book cracked along at a fair old pace. The humour I'd found in "To Say Nothing of the Dog" was still present, even if the volume was turned down. There was wit and clever touches, just not full-on belly laughs. But then, this is a love story too ...
I found the central character of Briddey deeply disappointing, although she did warm up a tad once she woke up and smelt the coffee. CB and Maeve are fully fledged characters, such that I could actually see them, whereas Briddey, being just red-haired and gorgeous (OK, OK, I'd love to be so described) meant I never got a mental picture of her. I hope for CB's sake there's more to her that just looks ...
But back to the concept: in a world where communication is all, the organisation where Briddey, CB and Briddey's boyfriend all work, are seeking the next big thing to stay ahead of Apple (cue snigger). Aside from this search, a neurosurgeon has developed a procedure whereby couples have surgery to become more emotonally connected. This procedure becomes a major hit with all the celebrities and Briddey's boyfriend persuades her to join him in experiencing it. But the surgery has an unexpected outcome. Nope, no spoiler here, you'll have to read the book to find out, for it is worth reading despite what follows.
What stopped this book being really good is how damn obvious it is that Briddey's boyfriend Trent isn't what he seems. The writing of this aspect was simply way too telegraphed; in fact it reminded me of those chick-lit novels which are churned out by the score. If this had been a bad film, Trent would've been dressed head-to-toe in black, with shifty eyes, a leering smile and a mustache to twirl, whilst CB would wear white, with a cute if slightly goofy smile and messy hair. You see where I'm going ...?
That aside, it's good fun, pacy, with lovely little touches of humour such as the Daughters of Ireland saving the day (go read it, you'll find out how).
In short, it's not her best work, but it's still very recommendable and highly readable. Have fun with it!
My thanks to Gollanz and to Goodreads for my copy of the book which will be shared with the members of my Book Group.