Friday, July 30, 2010

Five Days Apart by Chris Binchy

3.5 Star

David saw her first. But when he asks his best friend Alex for help, never having been good with women, things go wrong. Alex sweeps Camille off her feet leaving David angry and confused. They stop talking, but eventually David wonders what’s happening with them and when Alex confides he really likes her, they become a threesome. David develops a friendship with Camille and finds himself pining for her even more. Will David be able to keep from telling Camille he saw her first and that Alex stole her from him?  Would she even care if he did or was she in love with his best friend? And would he ever be able to forgive Alex? 

Lydia - 3 Star

I found Five Days Apart an interesting view on male relationships and the women that come between them.  It was well written and had an intriguing premise, but after my initial interest, I grew weary of waiting for something to happen. I was intrigued to find out how the trio would end up and did like the main character enough to care what happened to him, but was ultimately disappointed.

At times I wanted David to do something, to figure things out and to get on with it. He gradually does, but the progress was slow, which slowed the plot. I can see though, having known many men who move like turtles, how accurate Binchy’s portrayal might actually be, but it didn’t help keep my interest. I didn’t love David’s character. I disliked Alex even less and didn’t even warm much to Camille.

Nephew of the infamous Maeve Binchy, Chris Binchy shows adept writing skills with impeccable scenes, dialogue and description in his American debut. There were scenes in Brazil I could vividly picture and practically taste, but even here action was lacking. Overall I wasn’t as pleased with Five Days Apart as I wanted to be, finding it a dry, slow read.
Kathryn - 4 Star

Have to admit that it took me a little bit to get into this one.  I think it’s because the writing style seemed a little subdued- strangely enough though I actually found I was really enjoying it by the end and found a lot of respect for Binchy being able to convey such a lot without drama and excessive amounts of words.

David is one of those guys that you can’t help feeling like you want to just kick into high gear.  He obviously has a lot going for him but has let himself be completely overshadowed by his friend Alex. Obviously there are going to be things that I just don’t understand, being a woman reading a novel about men written by a man, but I still thought we were presented with a David that should have felt more confident and was frustrated with him at first.  He’s likeable like a puppy though so you’re still hoping he’ll get his act together.

There were moments I found a little strange- like David’s sudden trip to Brasil and that he loses touch with all the people he was doing his course with for a good portion of the novel when they might have helped him when he was pining after Camille?  Maybe it’s a guy thing to crawl into your shell instead of keeping busy?

All in all I thought that it flowed really well, that the three main people connected and that there was a realistic conclusion for them. 

Thank you to Harpercollins Canada for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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