I was Amelia Earhart (Jane Mendelsohn)

Posted on Wed 24 January 2007 in Rooties Recent Reading

I can read a lot, find little bits of interest in a story and have inspiration to carry on. This story, although cleverly written just isn't one I'd want to re-read.

This short (150 or so pages) novel is a ficticious idea of how Amelia Earharts final flight may have ended. Ficticious is the key word, don't expect a history lesson here. The fiction part is fine, the lack of historic detail is what I found tedious. The lack of detail is actually a part of the style. It's written as if it's Amelia herself writing notes in a journal. It flips from first person to third person, stunted short sentences throughout and detail frequently missed. It gave me the impression it wasn't researched quite well enough but perhaps that was a side effect of the style. For example, Amelia and her navigator crash their twin engined aircraft onto an island. The island is described as having a coral reef flat around it, and it's that on which they landed. In fact, the whole landing part was missed out and their plane appeared to have landed well enough to be able to take off again later in the story. For some reason, although they would wade out to the aeroplane it was never affected by the tide. The navigator made a device to convert salt water into drinkable water, but the device was never described. I guess an evaporator of some sorts but solar or above a fire? Perhaps the lack of detail was purely because of the writing style the author chose, in my own notes I take a lot of things for granted too.

I'm not sad that I read the story but should I ever get Rootie Ratings going, this would get 1 out of 5 (thinking zero would mean I think it should never have been published, 1 would mean it did the job of filling some time).

Observation: Maybe no-one else would notice but the back cover "this book is great" statement (they all have one after all) came from the Guardian's cheif book review editor (or similar, i forget now and I don't have the book with me) and inside the author review said she writes for a paper called the Guardian.