A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Source : Library eBook
TL;DR : Not the strongest, lots of melodrama and tropes
- I need to go ahead and get the biggest complaint out of the way. There is a small plot to do with miscarriage at some point in a character’s life. While it wasn’t terribly handled here, it felt like a tool and meant to be a shock factor. For me, this was a no go. I’m getting increasingly tired of seeing miscarriages used as shock factor events or throw-away reasons for why someone does something. As someone who has had a traumatic experience with this it’s frustrating. So that could have colored the rest of my reading.
- Past that the book had a melodramatic air, a tension that kept the book feeling engaging and fast paced. That melodramatic air also made even the lightest moments feel heavier, and left me exhausted by the midway point of the book and I ended up taking a sizable break between the first and second half (also the first bullet point may have enhanced that).
- The characters felt rather one-sided, especially a lot of the characters surrounding our leads. We also had a lot of stereotype/tropey characters such as the Mother, the Bad Boy, the Childhood Friend, etc.
- The setting was great, I actually truly enjoyed that as I put me in a different location than I normally get to read about.
- Yet on that point it did something I found amusing. It threw in words from the Māori language (te reo) in the middle of sentences or conversations. I watched a video from a Scottish individual in which she talked about this dropping in of language in English books to make it seem authentic (in her video she’s talking about Gaelic), yet that’s not how these native speakers actually speak. So I couldn’t help but think of that here. Is this naturally how people in New Zealand talk? Or is this a quirk of the author trying to make the setting feel more authentic. It certainly, on a superficial level in which I as an English reader never get to see or hear this language, stood out to me. But I am curious what a individual from that culture/language would think. I know Nalini Singh is from New Zealand so perhaps that’s accurate to how it truly is?
- The conclusion to this felt a bit predictable as well. By the midway point I’d figured out what was happening. This again feeds into the idea of a sociopath is always evil in some way? Again something I’ve been curious about as I know a lot of high functioning sociopaths are not murderers but they are frequently represented as such.
Overall I was not a big fan of this one and the more space I put between myself and he book the more I am… unhappy with it. That’s a shame, but I wonder if anyone else has any of these problems with it.