Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Old MacDonald had a farm

Daniel tells the story in "The Farm."

Daniel was living with his life partner. Daniel was barely eeking out a living but thought that his parents were having a comfortable retirement in Sweden.

He receives an urgent call from his father telling him that his mother, Tilde, has had a nervous breakdown and Daniel needs to come to Sweden to help.

Wondering if he could ask his partner for money for the airfare, he gets another call. This time it's from his mother. She tells him that she's on her way to Heathrow. She also tells him that everything he's heard has been a lie and that she needs the police. She also feels that she's in danger.

From then on, the plot moves slowly to the details of his parent's lives since they moved to Sweden. For one thing, they are broke, they squandered their retirement money in a failed property investment. Also, Tilde suspects things about one of her neighbors and feels there is a conspiracy against her.

One of the biggest problems with the story is the slowness of the plot. The other difficulty I had is that none of the characters is really likable and I never felt compelled to learn more about them.

I enjoyed Smith's "The Child 44" which had excellent suspense and a feeling of dread as the story progresses. In "The Farm" I felt the story was overly long and with most of the story coming from Daniel based on what he learned from his parents, who are mundane. I also didn't care for the conclusion of the story which left me flat.

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