The Divide by Nicholas Evans

PUBLISHED: 12:14 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

THIS is essentially a good book, with a compelling narrative and some well-rounded characters. The trouble is the first chapter may put you off reading the rest. In a way it is a necessary scene-setter, detailing as it does with the discovery of the body

THIS is essentially a good book, with a compelling narrative and some well-rounded characters.

The trouble is the first chapter may put you off reading the rest. In a way it is a necessary scene-setter, detailing as it does with the discovery of the body of a young girl, whose story the rest of the book tells.

But it's far longer than needed, introducing two unnecessary characters who are never involved in the novel again, and giving endless descriptions of the mountainous landscaping.

Evans (who also wrote The Horse Whisperer) used to be a screenwriter and it shows - it's like he's writing the camera directions for the opening shots of a film and it just doesn't work in the book.

So gloss over the first chapter and move onto the rest of the book and enjoy an interesting read about love, families, and the fragile, impressionable mind of a young woman whose sense of stability is rocked to the core. 3/5

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