I love novels–so much that I may need an intervention, or possibly a support group. I typically read books that fall into the mystery, suspense, or thriller genres, though I do enjoy the occasional women’s fiction or romance novel. And I sometimes pick up a mainstream or literary read, especially if it’s a Southern novel. (I love everything Joshilyn Jackson has ever written.)
Recently I was reading a very well-written Southern mystery, something I would ordinarily be incapable of putting down. But I struggled to stay engaged in the book. It’s written from three different rotating characters’ perspectives, and they get roughly equal stage-time. There isn’t a clear main character. This made it difficult for me to become invested in any of the three candidates. I understand that this is purely a subjective preference. Certainly, other authors write this way, and other readers enjoy these books.
Maybe I’ve always been this way, but I’ve only recently noticed that I prefer books with only one narrator. The occasional, brief chapter in the villain’s (or love interest’s) point of view doesn’t bother me, but I want to experience most of the story through the eyes of one main character
Maybe this is a response to an increasingly complex world, but I want my reading entertainment to be focused. I don’t mean I want it delivered on a fifth-grade level. But I like slipping into a character’s skin and experiencing her/his world. It’s harder for me to stay in character if I have to keep switching roles.
Or maybe I just need to keep the number of voices in my head at a manageable level.