The Rose Petal Beach

The Rose Petal Beach - Dorothy Koomson I can’t remember the last time I was ever this divided by a book. I don’t think any has ever offered such a ride, filled with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. Not in a good way.

I started off loving it. I couldn’t put it down, I was hooked. But then it took a turn and I had to force myself to keep reading. Then it would change again – on and on and on until the very last page. The middle was the worst for me, it was a big struggle to read even a single page. The characters, and their actions, bothered me in a truly enormous way. I couldn’t stand them, felt no sympathy, disagreed with most of what they said, did, thought. And the way certain events were stringed together, to better play up the mystery, felt ridiculous to me. At a certain point, nothing surprised me, every plot twist had me rolling my eyes, feeling disappointed in how Koomson chose to spin it.

Full disclosure: I don’t like mystery. I don’t really enjoy it much. And this took a big turn towards mystery, more so than her previous books (the ones I’ve read, that is). But even taking that into account, the rest didn’t make up for it either.

Still. She writes beautifully, and towards the end I found myself liking the story more and more, thinking that the characters had finally turned real. Of course, on the next chapter everything was ruined again. I kept swinging from enjoying it and hearing a voice in my head going oh, come on, now!

This book exasperated me. Maybe it was the wrong time to read it, I just wasn’t in the proper mood for it, or maybe Dorothy Koomson's magic is just lost to me now. Whatever it was, I have never found one of hers so hard to read. It did not seem cohesive to me, in the sense that certain events and twists felt realistic but others just felt plain stupid. Like that ending.

I can’t say it was all bad, but I think I will give it some time before reading another Koomson book.