26 February, 2013

#Bookreview :: The Watcher by James Howe

A mysterious girl sits on top of the steps overlooking the beach, occasionally recording her observations in a notebook, as she watches a boy and a lifeguard and makes up heroic stories about their lives.

This is indeed one of those books where even while reading it for the first time, you know that you are missing out on something. So, even though I had finished reading this book long time back, but I waited for some time to read it a second time before sitting down to write this review.

At a glance, this is a story of three young people – Chris, Evan & Margaret. Chris has a past with a loss that he is yet to come terms with and works as a lifeguard at the beach. Evan is a young teenager who feels the weight of the world as his parents’ relationship changes. Margaret brings the other character together with her watchful nature and vivid imagination. Every day she watches the people at the beach and incorporates them into her own story in the way she perceives each of them. For instance, Chris is an angel because he ‘saves’ people and Evan is the protector because of the way he is protective and possessive about his sister. But, Margaret has a secret of her own.

When I first got the book and read through the summary, I felt that this would be one of those books that would cast a creepy girl as the protagonist. But this book is so much more than what comes off from the summary.  Though Margaret plays the title role of the ‘watcher’, each and every character portrayed has a special role/place in the story. Without them the story would never be the same. The way the author has portrayed the simple-innocent mind of the youth and their take on the complications around them is simply amazing. The emotions and psyche of each character captures gave an insight that is rarely captured in such a raw style.

In addition to the plot, the author has narrated the story in a fast pace, giving the reader no time to come up for air. The smooth flow of words used only compliment the plot. This is a fast read but maybe not so ‘light’. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will be added to the list of books that I can go back and read again.

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