Starling Lawrence’s The Lightning Keeper didn’t make me want to keep reading. I think I learned of it through the NYTimes Book Review, which inspired me to buy, and it sat on my shelf for a while, where it should have been entombed.
The plot, reduced to its most basic form, is Romeo & Juliet sans beauty in language or any action: Boy and Girl can’t get together due to social circumstances, complications ensue, etc. I assume there’s no suicide at the end, but because I read about a fifth of the book I can’t make any promises. It’s so slow a book that I kept hoping M would call Toma and dispatch him behind the Iron Curtain, James Bond-style. Granted, the Iron Curtain hadn’t yet gone up, but then reality never bothered Ian Fleming much.
I went in without particularly high expectations, but The Lightning Keeper couldn’t even rise to meet them.