I have read all of Jodi Picoult’s novels from SONGS OF THE HUMPBACK WHALE up to SECOND GLANCE, her tenth novel, and I have to say that out of all ten of them I liked this one the least.
It was an enormous problem that the beginning part of the novel was so slow, and gave little sense of direction of where the novel was headed. Was it a Ghost Story? Was it an historical novel about the Eugenics Movement in Vermont in the early 20th century? It was really hard to tell what was going on.
I nearly abandoned the book several times, and only kept at it, telling myself that Jodi Picoult was a marvelous writer & I would be rewarded by my dedication.
The book definitely improved once Eli appeared on the scene, because it picked up speed. But there were still too many problems. Ross, the Ghost Hunter was just not that interesting, and his scenes in which he’s creeping around empty houses were…boring, not creepy, because the author kept letting us know that nothing exciting was going to happen, which ruined the tension. The whole thing about Cecilia Price and her relationship with her unspeakable husband was similarly lacking in tension.
I am not sure why this novel fell so flat. IMHO it was not at all up to Ms. Picoult’s usual standards. The only reason I can come up with is that she was engaged in writing her next novel, MY SISTER’S KEEPER, which made her an international star. Two stars.