Mutton by India Knight

The cover of the edition I read

Last week I finished this book.

During the first two or three chapters, I thought it was great. I laughed at the quick sense of humour, I pondered on the issues – middle age, women wannabes, men, relationships – that were being presented and smiled at the characters described. Great, I thought; a great book!

And then I continued reading. The story levelled out, the characters didn’t really evolve, new ones were thrown into the plot with little to no real reason and too much quirkiness; parodies of stereotypes that might have been considered “realistic” by no one older than six. As the plot “thickened”, what would happen in the end was obvious and, when it did happen and the end arrived, the book just finished. Slowly disappeared leaving nothing behind but a little bit of confusion as to why it wasn’t such a good book, after all. I was expecting so much more and… there was something missing.

A few days later I was watching a TedTalk about writing and there it was: the missing element in the book. MYSTERY. There was none. The characters were easy, stereotypical with nothing different about them; the story evolved as planned (like all, ALL the romcoms we watch), the issues were falsely deep: thoughts given but not worked on. There was nothing to find out, no twist, when you turned a corner there was a convenient little mirror that showed you what you were going to find. Yes, the moral of the story is that to age happily (i.e. no drastic diets, no external uplifting interventions..) all you need is friends. Which is great, but the novel…is not.

This woman represents at least two of the characters in the book 🙂

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