I positively raced through The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr. After a slightly disorientating beginning — there were a lot of capitalised nouns clustered together in the first few pages, and I found it was affecting the way I voiced the prose in my mind — it was very easy to read. Elvira suffers from a Condition, and the book is written from her first person perspective, but it’s very clear. I did wonder at times how accurate it was to nuero-atypical people, because some of the terminology wasn’t what I’ve come across before. I definitely found myself rooting for Elvira right from the beginning, wanting her to succeed at life and grow as a person.
Maria found a CD called Chilled Classics, not one that Mother owned. “We give it go,” said Maria. “Perhaps it calming.”
— The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr, Frances MaynardThe Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr, Frances Maynard
The mystery aspect didn’t live up to the strong character development, at least for me. There are things that Elvira doesn’t understand, because of her Condition, which were quite obvious to me as a reader, and that meant I always felt like I was one step ahead with working out the plot about her father. I read quickly because I wanted to get to the point where Elvira solved the mystery, but none of it was really surprising. I enjoyed reading about Elvira going out into the world and meeting new people more than I enjoyed any of the answering of suspenseful questions.
I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys strong character development in their novels, but probably not to anyone who reads primarily for plot.
Next, I’ll be reading Places in the Darkness by Chris Brookmyre.