We can't please everyone all the time!
By J.Lesley Published on Amazon
This book was not a good fit for me. I have assigned a 3 star rating because the things which bothered me so much might not be a hot button for all readers. It feels as if the authors tried to add in too many elements in order to cover as many genres or even sub-genres as possible. I can just imagine them sitting around a table excitedly throwing ideas into the mix and falling in love with all of them and being unwilling to part with anything. The result is a smashed together mixture of ideas which never formed into a pleasant reading experience for me. You've got a small English village, football (soccer to Americans), an incredibly wealthy home boy come back to save the day, a home brew beer with addictive qualities, a village witch, American mobsters, greed, murder, a sacred oak tree, mystical "insects", the Devil, drug running, and eccentric characters oozing out of every corner. I'm sure I've missed something or other. Oh, yes, the young heroine of the piece who screams at every opportunity and the young son of an eccentric villager who changes identity with someone and goes insane. Ahh, makes me tired just reading about all of that. The novel itself made me even more tired.....and irritated.The mechanics of how the novel is constructed is another aspect which kept me from enjoying the book. I was reading along, beginning to figure out some of what was happening and suddenly the action reached a climactic point and....bang, thread abandoned in order to jump back ten years to tell me how things got to this point. Okay, I can deal with that, but it didn't just happen once. That is when I begin to lose patience with a book. Also there are so very many places where some action has taken place and then I am told - not shown, mind you, told - how it transpired to get me to this current spot. That is a particular device used by authors which I especially dislike. Having it happen once in a while within a novel is understandable, but when it happens constantly I find myself fussing and becoming restive and not enjoying the book because I'm finding so much fault with it.So....if none of these things bother you then you may enjoy this novel which features elements from fantasy, mystery, and horror much more than I did. Eccentric characters can be charming in a novel. There is usually a line that separates eccentric from just plain odd and silly. The farmer talking to his chickens was actually not even odd, taking them on a walk down the village street to window shop was both odd and silly. A tighter, leaner premise would have made this an easier novel for me to read. I might not have liked it a whole lot, but at least I wouldn't have been arguing with it the whole time. By the way, there is a central theme to the story and you will be smacked in the face with it so much you have no way of missing what it is.