Review: Pedalling Backwards


◆ Pedalling Backwards by Julia Russell
◆ Read July 2013
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ On a bleak, muddy island in the Blackwater Estuary, Lizzie struggles to come to terms with the loss of her unborn child and the death of her sister. Trapped in a damp cottage with her ineffectual but well-meaning husband, and her aloof parents, the things that are said and left unsaid on this strained family holiday threaten the complex ties between mothers and fathers and their daughters.❞
I wasn't really sure how many stars to give this book, partly because I hated the first 30 pages or so. However, I decided to give it three stars because I thought the story beautiful in the end.

This book isn't one with an intricate plot, tension, nor does much happen. Instead you are given an insight into the life of a woman who has lost her sister, miscarriaged and whose marriage is falling apart. While on vacation, she tries to deal with her loss and the bitter taste it has left. The author has managed to make the suffering seem so realistic that you can almost feel it. Furthermore, main character Lizzie and the other minor characters are so realistically portrayed that you can't help but sympathize with them. 

What had me struggling through the first chapters was Russell's overuse of the comma in sentences that take up several lines, even where it does not make sense: (...) he explained carefully, enjoying himself, she smiled sweetly at him. You'll find of lot of comma riddled sentences in the book, and such a writing style isn't everyone's cup of tea. In addition, especially the beginning of the book contains some grammar mistakes that make the reading much harder. On multiple occassions did I re-read a sentence three times in order to make sense of what was meant. 

However, this is a beautiful yet sad story that will touch you regardless of writing style or errors. I'd say it's worth a read!

3 stars because:
✓ Flawed, realistic characters
✓ Emotionally connecting
✗ Grammar errors
✗Overuse of the comma

 

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