Salt Picnic – Patrick Evans

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS

A young woman arrives on the island of Ibiza in 1956 and falls into a relationship with an American photographer.

➽ “Patrick Evans is an accomplished writer and obviously has a lot of intelligent thoughts swirling around in his head and just as many different ways available to him of offering that information. Unfortunately not all his readers share his intellect. By that I mean me.

Salt Picnic is his ‘imaginative response’ to the time Janet Frame spent in Ibiza in 1956-57. The protagonist is not Frame, he is at pains to point out, but perhaps she should have been, for Iola Farmer is bland and unconvincing imo. The book wants for plot lines and unfortunately this is not countered with any type of character study.

“What the book does offer is a history lesson, with the Island’s status post-war heavily referred to, and intensely detailed commentary about things and places and ideas and historical occurrences. There were some wonderful monologues, but there were also periods of time where I had no idea what was happening. It certainly lacks Evans’ dry humour I enjoyed in The Back Of His Head.

“This is not a book for everybody, and in fact I would say it has a limited audience.” – Rachel

—–

Published 2017
Victoria University Press
351 pages

 

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