Review: But Can You Drink The Water?

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But Can You Drink The Water?
by Jan Hurst-Nicholson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

But Can You Drink the Water / B003CV7SS6

When Frank accepted a contract to work 5 years in Africa, he expected his family would be pleased with the surprised. How was he to know that his wife Mavis would pitch an absolute fit, or that his teenage son Gerry would retaliate with a Mohawk haircut? But they're stuck with it now, and all they can do is make the best of Africa - even if it isn't the rolling savannah of grass and lions that they had expected.

The beautifully packed prose of this excerpt is dense with description and meaning. This isn't really a light novel to pick up and put back down - every page demands the reader's attention, as you savor the text. Or perhaps that impression was given because I was unused to some of the British colloquialisms in the text. However, this density of meaning is not a bad thing, and the characters will stick with you long after you set the novel down.

Although, if I may make a small suggestion it is that Frank and Mavis start off as terribly unsympathetic and become more vulnerable and likable as the story progresses. This is a good trick, but you run the risk that their initial un-likeability may scare off some readers. You might play up why Frank took this contract (outside of sheer opportunism), such as a need to make more money, or a desire to give his family better things, or maybe just a hope that getting out of their comfort zone might bring his family closer together; Mavis could have similar motivations mentioned early on.

Overall, I enjoyed this excerpt and would like to read more.

NOTE: This review is based on a sample excerpt of this book provided through the ABNA contest.

~ Ana Mardoll

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