I was half-way through "Jane and Cassandra" when I had the misfortune to leave it at my parents' home. I decided to pick another title from my bookshelf of 'yet-to-reads' and came upon this one.
It started out great. And the concept of the book is great as well. I'm about a hundred pages from finishing it, and I just don't care to. You know when you just aren't invested in the characters' lives enough to care... well, that's kinda what happened. I think the author wanted to say so much about the story, that she got spread too thin. It starts off with an American woman who has just been rejected from Harvard Law, so she decides to teach English overseas. She thinks she's going to Hungary. She thinks she's going to be teaching smiling children, but she's teaching English to Croatian refugees in a camp. She falls in love with a composer, but they've never spoken a word to each other. This is where I get disinterested. Payne doesn't develop the story between the composer and the teacher. All of a sudden, the composer has run away and she's chasing him into Croatia in the middle of the war. It just wasn't believable. I think Payne wanted to do the landscape justice, the war justice, her characters... and it fell flat. Her use of language and description is great - perfect even - but it lacks in terms of developing the story line. The concept has potential if the focus is narrowed.
Now I'm well into 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven' and it's a great read!