Compulsive Overreader

Along with borderline hypergraffia, my other literary disorder is -- I'm a compulsive overreader. I'd like to say that I'm trying to get it under control, but I'm clearly not. Check out the archives here to find what I'm reading and what I think of it. If you came here directly through blogger --if your page has no yellow frames and no pretty pic of me in the top left corner -- you may want to visit my main site at, where you can read this blog and much much more.


I'm Trudy Morgan-Cole, a writer from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. My books include "The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson," "Esther: A Story of Courage," and "Deborah and Barak." I'm also a married mom of two, a teacher in an adult-ed program, and a Christian of the Seventh-day Adventist kind. I blog about writing, reading, parenting, teaching, spirituality, and shiny things that catch my eye.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse

Labyrinth has all the obvious ingredients for a Book Trudy Should Love. It's an adventure-in-research, with a volunteer on an archeological dig making a discovery that suddenly has a lot of sinister people interested in either recovering, or covering up, a centuries-old secret. Strong female characters -- 13th-century Alais and the modern-day Alice who may be her reincarnation -- are at the centre of this novel. It also has both history and religion (it focuses on the Albigensian Crusade in southern France), and even labyrinths! What's not to like?

Well, nothing, but sadly there wasn't much here to really fall in love with either. The story is well-executed and kept me turning the pages, but for some reason I was not drawn in to the novel the way I would like to have been. The main characters never became compelling enough for me -- perhaps because there were so many characters that even in 600+ pages I felt there was too much going on to keep track of. Normally I like long books, but I felt that the payoff at the end of this one was not entirely worth it -- I expected a labyrinthine complexity of plot but this somehow fell flat. There are plenty of plot threads going on and they do tie together, but the emotional impact that would make it all meaningful seemed (to me) to be lacking.

Put it this way: I bought the book to read in England, and it was so bulky it was hard to fit into our luggage. So I decided to leave it in the hotel room, because I knew I probably wouldn't be rereading it. It's by no means a bad book, but given the ingredients at hand, it didn't add up to as much as I'd expected.


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