Book Review: London: The Novel

London: The NovelLondon: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish we could choose half stars, for I would actually rate this 2 1/2 stars. Better than OK, but I wouldn’t go full on with an “I liked it.” The idea behind the book (following the history of London through the experiences of a few particular families) was an interesting one in the early part of the book, but I found I was less interested as it went on. I felt that Rutherfurd worked too hard to explain some aspect of London’s history (for example, cockney rhyming slang) and that made the book awkward at moments. I also found that I was distracted by who all the families were – by the end of the book there were so many different families who were all somehow interconnected, but it was hard to figure out who was who and to which branch of what family they were related. It became repetitive after a while, although I do feel as if there were some parts of the story that got too much attention while others got short shrift. I was also hoping for a greater story arc – one that followed the characters from the beginning all the way through until the end, and it was not there at all. It was almost as if each different period were its own separate novella that had been incorporated into this mammoth book.

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