A quick and entertaining read, but perhaps not the most memorable. While I do have some critiques, I found that Chergui’s Child was a decent read. I realize I should keep things to a review only, but I just can’t help myself. Some days I think I’d make a better editor than librarian!
Olivia, a bit of a damp and fragile woman, receives a letter from a dying aunt that launches her past back into the present. Through a series of flashbacks, we watch as Olivia’s story unfolds. But, what I think was meant to be an empowering story about a woman who perseveres, kind of falls apart towards the end.
Part mystery, part women’s lit, Chergui’s Child sets the stage for an intriguing plot-line, but doesn’t follow through in the way that I thought it would. Olivia, who, let’s face it, has made some really really really terrible life choices struggles to cope with the findings in the letter. Meeting a series of characters and traveling to different locations, Olivia tries to piece her life together.
Unfortunately, between all the characters and traveling back and forth, Chergui’s Child can come across as a bit rushed. While I am assuming that each character’s flaws were meant to give some momentum and depth to the story, there weren’t any real connections. Everyone was just kind of….awful. Sometimes that works in a story, but this time, it just didn’t do it for me.
On the flip side, I think Chergui’s Child does have some poignant moments. I am rather fond of Riddell’s attention to detail. While not particularly flowery or verbose, Riddell describes a wide range of settings: from the dust storms of Morocco, to the choppy waters off the coast of France, to the stiff interior of a lawyer’s office. I also admire the way Riddell incorporates her own experiences so lovingly into her craft. If you’re looking for a bittersweet novel with a focus on women’s issues, this is the Indie novel for you.
You can purchase Chergui’s Child on Amazon here.
You can also find her professional editing services site at www.quietfiction.com. Yes, I do realize that I made mention of editing an editor’s work, but I really do believe it is close to impossible to edit yourself really well, as evidenced by all of my own mistakes! Editing is a fickle beast.
If you are more in the mood for something a little more literary or a little more personal, you can follow her blog Papillon athttp://wwwbloggercom-