The Girl With Two Names Gerard O’Neill
This might be described as a romantic, mystery, young adult book. Romance is not the genre I usually read but limiting reading to what I always like to read does not develop vocabulary or thought. So… on to a somewhat negative review.
I received this book in return for a review.
I read this at the same time as several others. The slow pace of the book led me to abandon it for a while, then return (rinse and repeat) but I received a copy of the book in return for a review so I was determined to finish it.
With a title like this, I want to know what the two names are and why they are necessary. This is explained between page 1 and page 7 of the Kindle edition. After that, the title is irrelevant and ignored.
This book has 55 chapters. This is a very, very slow developing story. After an early portrayal of violence connected to spousal abuse, nothing even remotely interesting happens until Chapter 29 when two strangers, Tama and Noel, appear at a cabin where Paul, Bill, and Yayoi occupy a base cabin while on a hunt for wild boar. Everything previous is Yayoi’s reflections on discomfort with her stage life, her past life as a child in Japan, and her discomfort with having married the wrong guy. Bill runs around reflecting on his troubled career as a lawyer, his inability to secure a stable economic future, his dysfunctional relationship with an uncle, and his speculation as to who Yayoi might be. Other characters weigh in with lesser reflections of how they got to where they are; they are minor characters. There are a lot of descriptions of scenery.
Nori, husband of Yayoi, is a multifaceted character. Wealthy beyond belief due to his family, he wants to remain married to Yayoi. His ways of showing his concern or love for Yayoi are deficient and include spousal rape. Once he appears in the wild to find Yayoi, in chapter 33, the action picks up, but the road to get there has been long.
Nori messes up and accidentally (maybe) is a party to a criminal conspiracy that will frame Bill for shooting Paul. We don’t begin to know whether this is accidental or not until almost the end of the book. Again, very slow.
The ending surprised me. If I had an overall xray of the book before I read it, I would have passed. The journey from A to B was just too long to justify the effort.