Parks delivered a somewhat staid and boring read but with a redeeming end

The State We're InThe State We’re In by Adele Parks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have been an avid reader of Adele Parks for many years and after reading her last novel Whatever It Takes and finding it somewhat lacking it’s usual sparkle I so wanted The State We’re In to be good.

This was an unusual story, we start off in 80’s London with the stories of Clara and Eddie, both of whom are young married and unhappy. We are given the outline of a brief affair between them and from there we jump forward to 2005 where we meet Jo.

Jo is a romantic and single 30 something who having failed to find her happy ever after decides to jet off to Chicago to stop the wedding of the fiancé she jilted at the altar many years before. On the flight she meets Dean and decides to open her heart to him.

It is such a difficult book to critique because it went through peaks and troughs but for me there were too many slow moments. I just couldn’t get into this book. I had to keep forcing myself to go back to it. I’d read a few pages then lose interest again, this continued until around 70% of the way through then I finally found my groove with the book and from there to the end I really enjoyed it.

It had a very good ending but I won’t give any hints, it is a trawl though to get to the ending and I can’t say it’s left me feeling overly positive towards the work of Adele Parks, she seems to have written a heroine who lacked any real depth of emotion for much of the book. She came across as too flighty, too flimsy and that made it difficult to fall into the story with any enthusiasm.

I liked it but I’m glad I’m finished as it did feel like a long slog.

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