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Emma, Exeter School

The Stars at Oktober Bend

Glenda Millard's extraordinary piece of writing cuts language right back to its roots and truly celebrates it.
Alice's life was turned upside down when she was young. Her family is struggling and their hope is fading, until she meets him.
The way that Alice's voice is portrayed takes a little while to get used to. The fact that there are no capital letters, for example, makes this book unconventional in its techniques. I found it quite hard to get into this book to start off with as its approach is gentle and its plot is pure. It's not fast paced or full of action, instead it puts its focus into language and emotion.
Alice's character is silently strong and a subtle presence throughout the book. Although you may not be able to compare Alice with someone who you know she still feels familiar. I think that the plot also has this tone. It feels melancholy and reminiscent. This book demands nothing of you other than to experience the emotion.
The writing style fits perfectly with the tone and voice of the book. The use of poetry and lists just reiterates the fact that it is simple yet beautiful. The ending brings the book together well though it didn't make you want to keep reading to the extent that I want a book to do so. My other criticism is that I want to know more about the background of the two main characters. I felt that backgrounds were briefly mentioned a lot but never enough. One or two chapters each on both of the main characters backgrounds might have made getting to know the characters easier.
In general I think that this book is very innovative and beautifully written but I wanted a little bit more from each of the characters.

Posted on: 24th April 2017 at 06:09 pm

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