The Kissing Gate – Susan Sallis

I won this book in a giveaway last year. I have picked it up, because I wanted a read which was going to comfort and having read Susan Sallis before I thought I would be okay with this book. Sadly I was wrong.

While the basic plot line has some intrigue – three siblings, all brought together by second marriages and relationships live with very famous parents but do not have the limelight for themselves until one day when an world changing tragedy changes that and suddenly their parents are no longer in the limelight. The three siblings have to try and make a path for themselves for the future. Two, Gussie and Ned, have parents that they can go to and rebuild something with. Jannie with no parents now has to find something else.

The book jumped everywhere, the famous father and mother, were well known in the art world. But that was not very clear, and when you then introduced into it former partners and then a sister it became very confusing. Not helped by the strange names of the children reflecting a free spirited lifestyle outside of the norm – Gussie is really August and Jannie, is January.

The story was set in a village in Cornwall and then it flitted around with a rather lost Jannie. Then across to New York to face the truth and see into the future, and then to a remote island for Ned and the south of France for Gussie. With this much travel, you would think that something good would come out of it for the characters, it may well have done, but for me it passed me by and they just seemed to wallow in all their mixed up emotions and actually not getting anywhere.

So why did I finish the book? I ask that myself, because it was written well and structured fine, it was just the characters and the plot were so wrapped up in tragedy that I could see no light in the book, and even the ending did not seem right, just another way of mixing up the emotions of these rather damaged individuals.  I finished the book, because I thought it was going to get better, it didn’t.

I know life is too short to read bad books or ones that you are not enjoying, but this really is a book which I wish I had abandoned, because it was just not working for me at all. 

I came acvross Susan Sallis, many years ago when I was making that transition from teenage books to adult books and read some of her family saga based novels which I really enjoyed. I know I was looking for something similar when I picked up this book to read and I did not get it and feel cheated. It might be a while before I risk another one and that makes me feel sad.