This story could have easily been told in less than 300 pages instead of 531. I felt bludgeoned by unnecessary prose. Repetition was emphasized by italics, emphasized by repetition.
I read somewhere that readers feel like they are getting more for their money when they purchase a thick book. That sort of thick-headed thinking may be to blame for the ruin of an otherwise pretty good story, at least for readers like me who lose interest and empathy for the characters when the same information is emoted, with strong emotional emphasis, over and over again. And again. Repeatedly. Like ordering food and ending up with a gigantic plateful of unwanted calories.
But who the hell am I to criticize a bestseller. Wish I had gushed those words, poured them out and pasted them onto such a clever plot. Obviously, lots of people must have loved this book. The interesting plot twists, for me, would have been much more enjoyable had a ruthless editor redlined The Last Child.
Jeffrey Penn May, author of Roobala Take Me Home, Where the River Splits, Cynthia and the Blue Cat’s Last Meow, No Teacher Left Standing, Eight Billion Steps: My Impossible Quest for Cancer Comedy, Finding Your Fiction, and more.