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Lucy, Petts Wood Bookworms

Beck

I didn't realise till the end of the book that Meg Rosoff finished this Peet's work, but it made so much more sense!
The book is dysfunctional and slightly disappointing but weirdly okay. Throughout the book I was thinking 'this doesn't flow'...and maybe it wasn't supposed to? But it did feel like repeatedly 'Beck is starving, Beck gets food....Beck is starving, Beck gets food'...
The Canadian Brother's chapter is painful to read and experience, with a sense of dramatic irony from when they first arrive and bath. I thought at this point that Beck would become a vigilante warrior returning to the Brothers, but this did not happen.
The farm chapters were also seemingly disappointing. I felt that the authors could have focused on his escape more, relishing in his stolen feast and clothes to a larger extent...
The blurb says that Beck, by the end, realises love is possible, yet I didn't feel the relationship between the two characters worked. The timing of the book was also confusing as we switched from age to age. For example, when we first meet Grace she is leaving her father at 18, and when we meet her with Beck she is suddenly 30. This did not come across easily to me, personally. I loved the character of Grace though, but again - I don't think 'love' was evident enough between the two characters, I feel they needed to go through more together for Grace to teach Beck what real love is.

However, I do think that the book was good. The imagery of the swimming and bathing scenes were effective and you could feel Beck's escape when he was on Grace's land. This was also apparent in the lightning scene. Although I was confused at who was where and why Beck, who had just left Bone and Irma, was suddenly starving again and next to a burning tree...
Beck tells his whole story to a simple truck driver and in this, he sees that Grace is showing signs of love. The simplicity of this relationship and revelation is lovely. The rejects of the Plains Indians and this 'half-caste' Beck was also powerful as they collaborated. The ending with the coming-of-age sun-dance is poetic in this coming of the coming-of-age book.

I just thought this book was missing something. It was too disjointed for my liking, the characterisation not deep enough and Beck, sadly, not easy to empathise with. I loved certain images of the book, but altogether, do not think this is a winner.

Posted on: 3rd April 2017 at 05:12 pm

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