One Vacant Chair

James is the only character I liked in this novel. He was quirky, while endearing. Most of Joe Coomer’s characters were flat, boring or mean spirited, especially in their dealings with each other. Sarah and Edna were so abrasive that their cruelty to one another made me uncomfortable, even anxious. The harsh style Coomer chose when writing interactions between characters seemed overly nasty and hence not realistic. The story was painfully slow. I actually skimmed sections of the book. (Probably the reason I finished the book in a few days.) Not until the very, very end is there significant, somewhat interesting movement in the story. Coomer posed philosophical questions about life, death and families, while also incorporating decent symbolism, yet there are other better-constructed and far more interesting books that demonstrate and accomplish these attributes.

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