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The Dove Is Dead

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Member Reviews

An interesting read which is a continuation of the family saga in two previous books. I did find it a little more difficult to get into this one although just as enjoyable with lots of family debates on religious and political matters.
Thanks to net galley for this free read.

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Many thanks to the author publisher and Netgalley for a free ARC of this ebook. Sadly hadn’t realised when requesting this book that it was part of a series so felt I’d missed too much to really enjoy it. It is well written with great characters. I may look at the others in the series to catch at a later date.

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I read this novel in advance of publication through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. I have oscillated between giving it three and four stars. If lashings of politics and religion appeal, then take my three stars as a four.

I loved the predecessor, its unusual voice, the sense of humour. Some of that is retained here. But right from the start I couldn’t believe that the voice was that of a female, let alone someone young. It sounded too like the previous volume’s male narrator in age, and until her name was revealed I was convinced she was a man.

Although, like Uttley’s No Precedent, it lampoons religion and politics, this doesn’t have the lightness of touch that I enjoyed before. It is crammed with angry politics and of the differences between Anglican and Catholic Church to the point of tedium unless you are interested in those subjects, the minutiae of which might go over the heads of the non-political/religious reader. But, for me, what was worse was the blow-by-blow charting of covid. Every decision from the beginning to the end of lockdown is recorded in mind-numbing detail. Why? I know it. I have lived through it. I don’t want to live through it again so soon. Nothing is added to the story by such detail; it bogs it down. It’s like reading an out-of-date newspaper you’ve already read. If this was written in ten years’ time, then, yes, we might have forgotten enough to need reminding. Many books I have read mention covid, nothing wrong with that, but because it is such recent history it is like Groundhog Day when it is told so exhaustively.

From incorporating such up-to-date news – Trump not conceding to Biden and the invasion of the Ukraine – suddenly this news is abruptly switched off. The reason? The story continues beyond the present by a good many years, where, obviously, history has not yet been written. It’s a creative decision that allows characters to die and change but, for me, this didn’t work. If anything, it jarred.

Writing a novel is a massive undertaking and this story is not without merit. But I found it a disappointment compared with the previous volume.

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This is a family saga told in the first person. It appears to follow on from two previous novels though it could be read on its own. It is only that both novels are referenced in this work that I knew of them.

There is a plot which necessitates the expounding of long religious sermons, religious and non religious argument, and divided religious communities. The latter rang true though I have no first hand knowledge of the machinations of Christian committees.

There were also political views expressed by characters, some of which I found very simplistic and annoying. Perhaps that was the point. I definitely got bored with arguments over whether we have a soul etc

This is another novel where a chunk is set in Covid Lockdown. I recently read two (Lucy by the sea by Elizabeth Strout and Bournville by Jonathan Coe) that did this much better. I wonder what readers in the future will make of this especially as this author has gone as far as assuming our knowledge of restrictions and even gives us exact dates!

I read a copy provided by NetGalley and the publishers.

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An interesting even if soap opera like read. Characters are engaging and the premise is good, hope in a changing world. I also liked the use of the voice of reason alongside the need for inspiration

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The Dove is Dead is the third book in The Unholy Trinity Trilogy and written in the voice of a young 'woke' woman who writes much about her father, the lay preacher, Richard. Richard doesn't feature a great deal in the previous books, so it's good to get to know him better. The book, inevitably, features much about the church and faith, as that is the preoccupation of Richard and it also interests Amy, our narrator.
I found the book interesting as it covers subjects I did not know much about. It's thought provoking and gentle, a continuation of the saga and characters from the previous two books wrapping up their pasts and tying up all the loose ends. A good read.

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