Welcome back readers!
Today, I'll be discussing one of the two novels I picked up at Brookline Booksmith...
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
With her husband's corse still warm at the bottom of the stairs, "Tanya Dubois" must go on the run. Again. Desperate to keep the past buried, she travels across the country adopting and shedding identities. But ultimately, when the past can no longer be ignored, Tanya races home to confront an unimaginable secret.
I had such high hopes for The Passenger, perhaps that's why I feel such disappointment... I really wanted to LOVE this book, and some part of me knows that I could have. The Passenger had so much potential to be a great book! The novel had an alluring plot and an even more enticing protagonist. Unfortunately, the writing style and the novel's structure made this story difficult to enjoy.
While Lisa Lutz does a great job at developing memorable characters, her writing style wasn't enjoyable for me. I found the author's diction to be a bit vague. Often times, transitional scenes and descriptions were missing throughout, making the story less authentic than it should've been. The lack of eloquent language resulted in a colorless story.
Also, the structure of the plot was at times either too slow or ridiculously rushed. For 290 pages, readers are confronted with the protagonist's experiences while on the run. However, they're left in the dark about why or how she's in the predicament to begin with. The last 20 pages explain Tanya's childhood, the tragic event that forced her to escape her hometown, and her return home after ten years. Instead of revealing the essential moments of Tanya's childhood earlier in the novel in order to create a sense of interest in the audience, Lutz packs essential and highly anticipated information in only a couple of pages. By doing this, the ending feels hasty- dozens of questions are left unanswered.
If you're looking for a thriller or mystery novel, I'd recommend looking into other options! While I don't consider the The Passenger to be a poor read, I don't regard it as a good one either.
Have you read The Passenger? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!