I was given a copy of Let It Be to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. You can learn more about the book and Chad on his website.
Book:Let It Be
Author: Chad Gayle
Year Published: 2013
Genre: Nostalgic realism (set in the late 1970s, I believe)
Morality Rating: PG
Readablity Rating: 2.5 stars
In the late 1970s, a family struggles to hold together after they leave their abusive husband/father. The sounds of the Beatles helps them get through the tough time.
I liked the idea behind this story (mostly because I love the idea of structuring a book around a soundtrack), but, as with so many things I’ve read lately, it fails in execution. It took me half the book to realize that the father was abusive. Overall, too many character prospectives and too many tense changes.
Plot: The plot for this story follows the basic changes that can happen after a divorce. The wife gets to learn what it feels like to live a (somewhat) liberated life, and the children must struggle with allegiance and finding their identities in a new place. I liked how the music of The Beatles was woven through the story. Each chapter was a title of a song from the Let It Be album.
Characters: I feel like the characters in this book were weak. I think it happened because there were too many for such a short book. Throughout the 200 page book, main characters included the wife, the husband, the son, and the wife’s new boyfriend. That was just too many prospectives for such a short story. Consequently, they were all underdeveloped. I think the son was the strongest and most relatable character, however.
Setting: The setting was Amarillo, Texas in the late 1970s. Other than the book referring to the location every now and then, I did not feel that the setting was central to the story line. It could have taken place anywhere.
Writing Style: Remember how I said there was a distinct difference between male and female writing? Not so here. I thought this book was written by a woman. I was wrong.
The writing was decent, but I found the whole book hard to follow. Like a few of the other books I have read recently, I felt that this book would have benefited from additional editing. The tense changes, the constantly switch of character prospective, and the lack of background information kept what could have been a good book from quite making it there.
I feel like, if this book were a cake, it needed about 15 more minutes in the oven. The outside structure was there, but the inside was gummy and unfinished- consequently, the cake/book was not nearly as good as it should have been or was intended to be.