Cover Image: Day for Night

Day for Night

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Member Reviews

A very interesting read. I really enjoyed the first part in the voice of Richard. I believe it benefited from being written in the first person. When the narrative changes to the third person it losses a bit.  I did not expect the change and the twist. Relationships are complicated and this is a novel about relationships.  I found the use of Walter Benjamin as a character in the story intriguing and successfully done.  I am now curious about learning more about Benjamin. Thank you to NetGalley and ECW Press Audio for the advance copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Unfortunately for fans of Jean McNeil, I can’t give a great--or even complete--review of Day For Night because I got bored and did not finish. I’ve been having some weird brain days lately so I hardly expected anything to hold my attention for very long and it just so happens that trying to force myself into a book when I’m not emotionally invested is just as bad as lying just to keep my DNF list as short as possible. I may revisit the book when I’m in a better headspace, but this is as honest a review as I can manage at this time.
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This was well written, with some interesting and insightful observations. Unfortunately, I struggled to connect with the characters and it was a little confusing in places. The topic of Brexit is now rather outdated so I found many parts of the story uninteresting and irrelevant. I listened to the audio version and narration was good.
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Any book set in the modern day written pre but published post Covid was always going to suffer from being left behind by current events and that is exactly what happened with this book. When the book was written the biggest social change in years and for the foreseeable future was Brexit by the time (now) the book has come to be published Brexit has been replaced by Covid as the biggest story in the world. The author in her afterword admits that her novel has been overtaken by history, that is not anyone’s fault but it does impact on the reading experience.

The main characters are very much anti-Brexit and anti-Tory a viewpoint which makes sense given their artistic background and enjoyment of travel (a viewpoint shared by a lot of people at the time of writing) it does however (if the election was anything to go by) go against current public opinion. That said a lot of the issues and parallels the author drew between Brexit and the plight of Walter Benjamin could still be said to be alive and kicking but rather than as a result of Brexit they are a result of Covid. These include food shortages, transport delays, exodus of migrant workers and freedom of movement which is now restricted by health status instead of nationality.

While history overtook the story I really did enjoy the magical realism (haunting?) elements especially where Richard is getting input from Walter Benjamin. I am not sure how to feel about the romance side as due to the differences in age and authority it did feel unbalanced, that said it is handled delicately and with a lot of inner struggle which I appreciated.  

I have seen other reviews that complain that this reads like a screenplay I was lucky in that I got an audiobook ARC so the medium I experienced the story through was actually a performance. I loved the use of two readers to represent the narrative voices in the novel. Clive Walton and Mia Fothergill were absolutely perfect and I could listen to them reading all day long.

In summary if Covid had not happened this would be “relevant” and “timely” unfortunately Covid has happened so this is now firmly dated. That said in the future this could be heralded as an insight into that brief period of time between Brexit and Covid.
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DNF at 50% -- This just isn't for me at all. The narrator is super pretentious, which is a super unlikable quality for me. The book is also very real-world politics heavy which just isn't what I look for in books, no matter how much I agree with what's being said. However I did enjoy the narrator for this audiobook, which is why I'm rating 2 stars instead of one.
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