I didn’t like this book! Yes, I just didn’t like this book! This was the first book of Agatha Christie, writing under the pen name Mary Westmacott, that I had read a few years ago. I had started reading the novel with high expectations, especially because this is a book written by the great Agatha Christie. However, my expectations were shattered before I had even finished reading the first 100 pages of the book. My experience with the Giant’s Bread was so distasteful, that it curbed my desire to buy any other book of the Mary Westmacott Series. Wanna know why I disliked this book so much? Here is why!
Title: Giant’s Bread
Author: Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Publishing Date: May 1st, 1997. First published in 1930.
Genres: Tragedy, Romance
From Goodreads: Vernon Deyre is a sensitive and brilliant musician, even a genius. But there is a high price to be paid for his talent, especially by his family and the two women in his life. His sheltered childhood does not prepare him for adulthood. To write his greatest masterpiece, he has to make a crucial decision with no time left to count the cost.
Prior to reading the Giant’s Bread , I wasn’t really sure about the book’s genre. Though, I did know that this book isn’t one of Agatha Christie’s signature crime novels, I did expect to see some elements of mystery, thrill, and suspense in the story. Furthermore, the book blurb had given me an air of mystery fuelling my expectations for a thrilling novel. But, I was wrong! I had stepped into the world of Giant’s Bread thinking that this would be a thrill ride, but, as it turned out, it is a romance-tragedy story with nothing thrilling. Now, don’t get me wrong! I enjoy reading romance-tragedy literature and have read plenty of them, which have given me immense satisfaction. But not the Giant’s Bread, which despite of its solid writing failed to captivate me due to its very predictable storyline and a cast of characters I could not bring myself to like let alone love.
I was displeased with the characters of the story. Every character in the Giant’s Bread is very well developed (or should I say over developed?). In fact, the characters are fleshed out so well that readers just know everything, JUST EVERYTHING about them. This makes predicting their actions quite easy, which in turn makes for a very predictable storyline. On top of this, the author has accentuated only the ugly side of every character. While reading the book, I just couldn’t help but say, “Can we please see the good side of at least a few of the characters?” But, no! The author chose to highlight only the negative facet of the characters making their moves inevitably known to the readers. The deficiencies and flaws of the characters are portrayed so strongly in the story that even though I wanted to like the characters, I just couldn’t like them.
While reading Giant’s Bread. I felt like someone had dropped me in a crowd of some really complicated people, who do complicated things and end up in a really complicated state! Never before have I read a book where I couldn’t find a single character, not even the lead Vernon Deyre (especially not Vernon Deyre), whom I could like. What a pity! While reading the book, I can’t say I felt any positive emotion for any of the characters, although, I can say for sure that I wouldn’t want to run into any of them ever!
Giant’s Bread is a book where a lot is happening and a lot many events occur! Also, the timeline of the story is long and we see the characters through their childhood- teenage- adolescence and adulthood. But, did anything surprise me? No! Everything is pretty much predictable in this book making it a not-so-good read.