The Last Kings of Sark
2 journalers for this copy...
I picked this book up purely because it has the word Sark in it, and because I am going through a mild obsession with the Channel Islands, I thought: must read it. There really isn't anything else on the copy I got to make you want to read it. There is literally no blurb whatsoever, it's all gushing quotes from reviews. That always makes me suspiscious; even more so when that's all there is.
So this is a coming-of-age summer holiday story which kind of goes on and on for the following ten years. There are parts that I enjoyed, but other parts that were intensely dull. Bit of a mixed bag for me. Even with the characters. The three main characters, Pip, Sofi and Jude, are also a mixed bag. Pip is probably the most likeable. At the start he's 16, a native of Sark and his rich daddy has hired a tutor to come to the island for the summer. He's really growing into himself at this stage. Sofi is a Londoner, but must be first or second generation Polish extraction. She had a Polish surname anyway, and because of this the father just assumes she IS Polish. And therefore it's all right to make her eat in the kitchen. She understands. She's been hired as the cook for the summer. So she's a Londoner and I think she's supposed to be working class, but more often than not she reminded me of these hyper scatter-brained yet superficial posh girls who tend not to take in anything about anyone. And then there's Jude. The father thought she was a boy when he was hiring her as a tutor. As the book starts out "My name is Jude. And because of Law, Hey and the Obscure, they thought I was a boy." She narrates quite a bit, but to be honest, she's so vague and distant, I found her rather androgenous. She could have been a boy. She could have been a girl.
So maybe two thirds of the book are about the summer on Sark. Growing up. Exploring those 'feelings'. Summer holidays. Summer jobs. Etc etc. Then it's a couple of years later and they're all living in Paris but with no connection to one another. And there's an awkward moment when two of them bump into one another - remembering what happened, wanting to be polite but not really wanting to catch up. Then we skip ahead years and people are reminising on their own, getting on with life and oh... I don't know. Where would have been a good place to end it? Maybe at the end of the summer? That last chunk of book just dragged for me.
This all sounds rather negative, but there were sections of the summer and the mini adventures that they went on that I did enjoy reading. Just the whole thing has left me feeling a bit -meh-.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
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