The Road to Vermilion Lake by Vic Cavalli is an interesting niche novel that felt like a character study.
If I had to describe this book in one word, I would choose: niche. This book isn’t some hard hitting Star Wars novel or Notebook styled novel, it is truly in it’s own little world. For some people, this book will be incredibly hard to put down and it will be your binge-worthy novel but for others it just won’t sit as well. For me, it wasn’t as binge worthy as it was for other reviewers (seriously, some reviewers seem to be devouring this book and loving every second of it!).
I did love that this was a Canadian author because I absolutely love supporting my home country, but this book just wasn’t made for me. And, that isn’t a bad thing! There are people out there who will love this book so much more than me!
So why wasn’t it for me? For one, the book felt very slow and the conversation between characters was way to formal. I didn’t feel like people actually talk the way the characters do. It was so oddly structured and oh so formal that it was hard to feel for these characters. I just couldn’t connect with these people because they didn’t feel real to me. Maybe it’s because I’m from an odd, small town that isn’t really comparable to any other city I’ve ever been in! I did really appreciate the descriptive writing of the setting and Tom’s job, but the dialogue just didn’t connect with me.
I also didn’t like the female characters in any capacity. Johnny was this really unique character, but I’ve never met anyone like her. That being said, the fact that Johnny is so out there and unique is a good thing! Unfortunately for me, I need to connect with characters to be able to be whisked into the story. Johnny and Sally are religious and do not wish to sleep with anyone until they are married. Okay, cool, that’s normal! But announcing that the first time you meet a guy? Having this strong “love at first sight” feeling and announcing a potential marriage and children? It just didn’t seem real to me. I think this made her to be a truly interesting character to follow but she felt foreign. It was like I was watching a character in the Handmaid’s Tale television show – it feels so close to being real but wasn’t.
That negative for me can be a true positive though – this book is set in a realistic story with unique characters. Seeing them interact with each other and the surroundings was a fun character study. I think that’s where readers are going to get the most out of this book. It’s so different that it can be so good!
The biggest positive for me was seeing these characters grow. Dave, Tom, Johnny and Sally all change over time as you learn about their past and their present. Heartbreaks, happiness and tragedy can all be followed which is absolutely lovely. I like seeing characters grow and develop in books, and it’s nice to see Vic write that so effortlessly. The growth didn’t feel forced – it felt natural.
Overall, I think this story it cool. Vic Cavalli has crafted a really interesting story that will take you to a whole new world (within the one we’re already in).
Three out of five stars!
I received this book for free from the author Vic Cavalli in exchange for an honest review.
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