“A Cupboard Full of Coats”

September 8, 2011 at 3:23 am | Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

I read A Cupboard Full of Coats because it was on the Booker Prize long list, although it breaks one of my cardinal rules:  Never read a book with a headless woman on the cover.  It’s the publisher’s way of indicating that the book will annoy me in some way.

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Which, unfortunately, this book did.  I was irritated by most of the characters.  I didn’t buy the chemistry that was supposed to exist between the protagonist and her main love interest, and the sex scenes were straight out of a romance novel.  The emotional development didn’t quite ring true.

There were things that worked in this book.  Yvvette Edwards has an ear for dialogue.  I was interested in her exploration of the spiritual arc of an unlikeable character.  The battered-woman storyline made sense.  All together, though, it clunked along between sections of inconsistent quality.  I’m not really sure why it made it onto the Booker long list in the first place.

It would probably make a good film, though, with the adaptation in the right hands.


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