I read this book last winter. I enjoyed it I would say, but I didn't pick it up with any more intention
than finding a few hours pleasant diversion. Which it provided. I enjoyed the individual stories in
themselves and admired the authors ability to present them in the styles of differing genre. It was interesting
to notice that in some way the authorial voice was maintained through the shift in styles.
The characters in the stories were treated in good heart and I did not feel my emotions were being
manipulated beyond the needs of the plots. This is sort of important to me. There was a time when I would
not buy a novel without checking the back page to make sure it all ended happily.
Admittedly, I was reading the stories pretty automatically and was not expecting to notice anything
especially deep and I never did come to the conviction that any deeper themes were being actively explored.
For instance, though the stories were structured around the device of something like reincarnation, it was
not obvious to me what it was the author was suggesting might be being carried from one life/story to the
next. In a sense, for the sake of the book, I hope I was just being a bit dense. As I read I began to hope for
and missed any subtleties in the plotting that might have hinted at deeper relationships between the overt
storylines. All I noticed was the recurrent birthmark motif and that just was not a sufficient device for the author
to hang any deeper implications onto.
The theme of histories repeating, was perhaps flagged strongest by placing the first and last story on
the same Pacific atoll. Once I had realised that the two stories were in much the same physical location I wanted
the author to complete the circle by a revealing the period of the last story to be both in the future and the past of
the first. I would have found some thing like that a more satisfying last page.