I left a five-star review of Book 1. I read it to my mom, who has some dementia, and we both loved it. Then I began Book 2. More description, more grumbling, less action, less humor, no joie de vivre. It didn't hold my mom's interest, so for her I switched to Vernon Coleman books. I soldiered on with this, though, hoping we'd get back to the rhythm and perspective I so enjoyed in Book 1.
About a quarter of the way into the book (***SPOILER ALERT***) I got to an anecdote about a couple who seeks to return a lost lamb to its owner. I found Marie's ridicule of the man and his wife (she racked with laughter over their distress, hysterical), and lack of empathy for them and the lamb irritating. So, back to the Coleman books (which, coincidentally, also involve lambs, as well as many other animals).
I wrestled with whether to post this, since I didn't finish the book. But for animal lovers or people who place a premium on good-hearted storytelling, I heartily...
As much as I enjoyed reading about Marie Browne and her family's adventures on a narrow boat, the lack of editing was really annoying. There are commas where periods should be, run on sentences that are hard to decipher, and overly used words and phrases that add little to the narrative. The words grin, grinning, or grinned are used 156 times. Tea and kettle are use 151 times. Having said this, I just ordered her third book, Narrow Escape. I do hope a proofreader/editor has seen it before I have.
After reading "Narrow Margins," I dove into "Narrow mInds" with enthusiasm. And indeed, the narrative spins out in weird and wonderful ways. Great fun.
And it's a wonderful story.
Its problem lies in the lack of editing — not like, "this happened here, this happened there," but totally obvious punctuation errors. Sorry, but ",." is inexcusable. And it doesn't occur just once. Additionally, the book has numerous run-on sentences that beg for punctuation, but don't get it.
I love this story. Don't get me wrong. I just don't understand why she should make it so difficult to read.
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