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Snooze Alert   Leave a comment

When my husband and I go to a movie we silently give a thumbs up or down to the trailers
before the main feature. We know that even if it looks promising, it’s entirely possible that
all the good parts are revealed in the preview. The same holds true with book jackets, such
is the case with Coral Glynn by Peter Cameron.

In 1950s rural England, Coral is a home nurse caring for the dying Mrs. Hart, mother of
Clement Hart, a young man disabled in war. Based on Coral’s presence in the family home
and a few shared brandies in front of the fireplace, Clement proposes and she accepts. There
are no sparks; in fact, there is not even any flirtation. There is, however, an unrelated crime.
The couple is getting ready for bed just when a police officer arrives. Minutes after being
interviewed by the constable for a murder Coral did not see, but knew about nonetheless,
Clement suggests she go to London. This is only one of several shrug-your-shoulders and
roll-your-eyes incidents. The marriage is never consummated, and Coral simply flows with
the tides of life in an apparent daze. If this all sounds unusual, it’s because it is.

Cameron has not created characters who elicit emotion, let alone interest. There is neither
humor nor tragedy, or perhaps there is both. With this in mind, I suggest reading the dust
cover. It’s far more interesting than the pages it embraces, and takes a lot less time.

Coral Glynn
Two-and-a-half Bookmarks
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
210 pages

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Posted July 8, 2012 by bluepagespecial in Books, Reviews

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