Today’s review comes from Alison she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/
Alison chose to read and review Borderline by Hilary Custance Green
Border Line – Hilary Custance Green
This book starts with a really intriguing and almost shocking opener – Grace is searching the internet for ways to kill herself. So we begin our journey with her and several other like-minded souls as they travel through Slovenia on one of the strangest ‘holidays’ I’ve ever encountered.
During her internet search, Grace, who at thirty-five certainly has a lot of years left to her, finds Daniel – a tour operator with a difference. Every year, Daniel takes a select few on a last trip, through the beautiful towns and countryside of Slovenia, until they reach the border – where they must decide whether to live or die.
Grace’s fellow travellers are an appealing and intriguing bunch, each extremely well-crafted and believable. At various points they give their reasons for wanting to die, some heart-breaking, some frustrating. I won’t give details here as these stories are a poignant part of the book that the reader needs to discover for themselves; suffice to say though that I wanted to shake Anita, hug Vicky and scream at Adam.
The subject matter is incredibly unusual and the book could be maudlin and depressing. However, the writer paints such a beautiful picture of Slovenia, with lovely descriptions that seem built on either experience or extremely thorough research, and most of her characters are so warm and real that rather than sadness, this book left me feeling uplifted. It was a really sympathetic look at why people despair of life, and how events and circumstances affect people in different ways.
My only criticism is that some of the stories weren’t developed quite enough to give solid reasons for some of the characters’ decisions to end it all – I’m thinking of Lindsay in particular. I would also have liked Ben’s character and to have been developed further – I wasn’t quite sure what he brought to the story. I also wasn’t convinced that the epilogue was needed.
Don’t be put off by the subject matter – do give this thoughtful, thought-provoking book a read. I thoroughly recommend it and will be reading more of the author’s work.
4 out of 5 stars.