Friday, 18 March 2011

Review of The Behaviour of Moths-Poppy Adams

Well as promised, here is my review of The Behaviour of Moths. It is the debut novel of Poppy Adams, a documentary film maker for the BBC and Channel 4.
The book made the Costa First Novel Shortlist in 2008 but was beaten by Sadie Jones very successful debut The Outcast.

The narrative is written from the perspective of Virginia Stone (Ginny), an elderly woman living in her ancestral home, Bulbarrow Court in Dorset.
At the beginning of the story, she is waiting for the arrival of her younger sister, Vivian (Vivi), who is returning home after a 47 year absence.

Virginia is both unsettled and excited by Vivian's imminent arrival and it is obvious the sisters once shared a close bond.  However, something happened to change that and as Virginia begins to look back over her life to understand what this was, family secrets are revealed and hidden tensions surface.

I read The Behaviour of Moths on recommendation from a fellow bookworm. From his description, it had many of the elements of stories that I enjoy- a crumbling Gothic house, family secrets and a storyline that moves between the past and the present.

There were many things about this book that I liked. The narrative was easy to read and the descriptions of the house and the Dorset countryside were just detailed enough to bring them to life without losing my interest.
I found some of the references to moths and lepidoptery informative but the story wouldn't have suffered if some of these had been omitted.

I didn't fnd either Ginny's or Vivi's characters particularly likeable, and this perhaps contributed more than anything else to my overall lack of passon about this book.

For me, the ending didn't successfully tie together all the loose ends and so I was left with too many unanswered questions.

Overall I would give The Behaviour of Moths 5 out of 10. I didn't really dislike this book but I wasn't enthralled with it either.

1 comment:

  1. Likable characters are a must!

    I very much enjoyed your review. It's useful to me to know each of the things you included. I could explain each point but I'm sure you get my what I'm saying - Good Review! The most important point, of course, was that you weren't overly sympathetic to the two characters. That in itself makes it hard to be passionate about a book. If I have a chance to read this without seeking the book, I will give it a go.