Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Final Thoughts on Billie Bradley Lighthouse Island

I had to slog through the last half of this book. It is not that the book is bad exactly; it is just that the book is not very compelling. I lost interest around the time the girls arrive at Lighthouse Island. From the girls' arrival at Lighthouse Island, the main topic of interest is the girls' complete admiration of Connie's mother, who is known in the book simply as "Connie's mother." From page 116:
How could a woman who was old enough to be Connie's mother look so absolutely and entirely like a girl of twenty? She was not even dignified like most of the mothers Billie knew—she did not even try to be . Connie treated her as she would an older and much loved sister. One only needed to be with them three minutes to see that mother and daughter adored each other and were the very best chums in the world. And right then and there Billie began adoring too.
Blech. This is one of the cases in which an author describes something that I am not able to feel at all. Instead of the excessive mushy descriptions, show me through dialogue and experience how adorable Connie's mother is. I don't see it, and quite frankly, it bores me.

The relationship between Billie and Teddy is also overdescribed and mushy at times, and I feel detached from it as well.

The book bored me from around page 102 through page 152. My interest only lasted for a few pages, and then I was bored again. Finally, on page 174, the book gets to the shipwreck that was mentioned by the publisher—the shipwreck that results in three children getting washed ashore. The children come ashore on page 179. The book is 204 pages long, so the publisher spoiled an event that does not occur until 25 pages before the end of the story. Why would they do that? I know why...the book is so stupid boring that nothing else worthwhile happened from the time the girls meet Hugo Billings in the woods until the time of the shipwreck.

I was even kind of bored with the aftermath of the rescue of the three children. I already knew that Miss Arbuckle and Hugo Billings would be summoned and would recognize the children. Miss Arbuckle and Hugo Billings were not the parents as I originally expected, but that little matters. It was still all very predictable and rather boring. I hope I like the next book better.

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