The absolute best thing about The Rocks was the magnificent seaside setting. The island of Mallorca was the serene locale for the flurry of activity that followed its inhabitants. The opening scene began with spry Lulu and her ex-husband, Gerald fighting, an event with dire consequences. Told in reverse, the story then chronicled the drama of the families of Lulu and Gerald.
This isn’t the first time I read a book written in reverse, and it can be done well. But the inherent problem with a reverse telling is that I don’t know what is important to the plot and overall story. Was I supposed to find clues to Lulu and Gerald’s love in the lengthy monologues about movies and film stars, or in their children’s quest for a shirt manufacturer? Because it isn’t clear what I should be looking out for, I’m usually reading more intently, worried that I will miss something, and I usually do anyway. The author examined the lives of many characters, and included a plethora of details about their daily lives. While reading, I wondered if all of that information was critical to the plot, or if the author just wanted to write a book that was 400 pages.
The details that described the island were beautiful and made me feel like I was in the seaside village with the people. But it left little time to fully really develop the characters. Sometimes the author just threw in a quick line about how the character was feeling after large portions of dialogue or paragraphs about what they did. That made it hard to connect with these people. I waited patiently for the big wow finish like the one in The October List, but here it never happened.
As a result, this was an unfulfilling read despite the awesome setting.