Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Review: Miracle on Regent Street

Miracle on Regent Street was one of the top Christmas reads of 2011, being raved about on Twitter, the blogosphere and beyond.  Unfortunately due to my penniless student state, I didn't manage to get myself a copy until well into January, but it was well worth the wait.

Focusing on one girls attempts at saving a department store, the story was well structured if predictable at times. It is doubtful if, at time of writing, the author knew quite how poignantly relevant much of the story would be, when you consider how many retails businesses went into administration over the 2011-2012 festive period.

The writing, although powerful for the most part, was at times very amateur, and I found myself wincing at the painfully over the top description, which was often simplistic and unnecessary. On reflection, this is more to do with the fact that Harris' writing style is  remarkably similar to my own fictional narrative style (and the reason why I avoid this genre), than due to any lack of talent or ability on the part of the author.

One area in which the novel excels is creating a festive atmosphere-curled up in bed on a cold January night, I was temporally disoriented briefly, believing that it was really December and Christmas was still yet to come. Bad luck. The descriptions of the beautiful vintage clothing that forms part of Evie's transformation are inspirational, and certainly gave me a hankering for a black and white dogtooth skirt!

I won't lie and say I read it all one sitting, At first I struggled to get into the story, but after a couple of chapters, I was glad I persevered.

Conclusion: Partly questionable writing, but overall a good read.

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