27th October 2019
Waiting for Sunshine is the fourth novel I’ve read by William Boyd - and although superficially similar, isn’t really anything like the others. It’s the tale of a man in the 1910s who seeks treatment for a medical condition.
I’m not entirely sure I understand what the book is really about - the plot seems fairly chaotic and unstructured and even having finished I’m not sure I really know what happened. It starts seemingly to be a period spy novel, but it never quite develops in that direction, and instead meanders through a number of plots without a clear goal.
The most interesting aspect of the novel is how the narrative is crafted. The book seamlessly weaves between the first and third person - so much so that I didn’t even notice it until several switches in. This is really cleverly done, and demonstrates a masterful command of the pen on Boyd’s part. Perhaps this is why I feel confused - because in some parts of the novel I have access to the mind of the character and some not - and so I feel I lacked insight in some parts of the plot.
I flirted with the idea of abandoning this book halfway, but I’m glad I didn’t - it continued to entertain just enough to keep me going, though I’m afraid I did enjoy the previous novels of the author’s which I have read.