I don’t know quite what to say about this novel. If I hadn’t been reading it as a review book for Beauty and Lace Bookclub, I would have put it down several times over and not picked it back up. I enjoy poetic, descriptive writing, but this novel was saturated with it to the point I skimmed where I could, but it was hard as in a paragraph of description there might be one sentence that was important to read.
The story of a man aiming to be a modern-day bushranger and the police officer that pursued him sounded like a great premise for a story, and it was, but I think this would have faired far better as a short story, without the extraordinarily poetic prose, that at times made me wonder if I even understood what the author was trying to convey. He did do a great job of describing the landscape however and I could clearly see the vast Australian plains and the rough Australian bush.
I had a hard time really connecting to the characters, I felt a lot of the time that I was just being told a story, rather than experiencing the story, then there would be times where I was engaged with the characters only to lose the flow as the writing changed and I was thrown back out again.
I got to the end of the novel and was upset by the ending, that I’d made my way through this plethora of words and it ended the way it did, I guess it was a good ending, but for me a disturbing one, that didn’t leave me feeling any hope or joy whatsoever.
I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will thoroughly enjoy this tale of caution.
Thanks to Beauty and Lace Bookclub and Shawline Publishing Group for providing me a copy in return for an honest review.
4 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: Wood For the Trees by Ian Belshaw”
I know to avoid this one now! Thanks for sharing your thoughts
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I hate giving negative reviews, but I’d feel bad if I didn’t give my opinion. I’m sure there’ll be those that like it. I read the rest of the reviews on b&l and many felt the same as me about the overuse of language.
Great review Claire. I’m sure there will still be plenty of readers who will love this book. I’m not good with overly wordy prose. They just make me feel like I’m uneducated.
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Thus one would certainly make you feel like that. Plenty of words required a dictionary lol. As well as extrapolating what a paragraph was trying to say.