Every so often, I get the chance to read a book I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen if I was placed in the middle of a book shop. Such occurrences help me to open my mind to new genres/story types and discover more about what I like and don’t like in a book. Grind by Edward Vukovic was one such book.
For the most part, Grind tells the story of Ziva, an Eastern European immigrant currently living in Australia with her brother and his wife. Ziva’s grandmother passed to her the gift of reading a person’s destiny through the remnants of their coffee cup, which Ziva uses to bring comfort to those who come to her.
The story begins with Ziva and then continues through the voice of several other characters. For at least three-quarters of the book, it is as if the reader is being presented with individual short stories about each character. Besides the role of coffee in their lives, there is nothing very apparent which connects them. However, what Vukovic has been doing is building up a slow momentum because, by the time the book comes to a close, the connection between each person is apparent: we learn that it is not a love of coffee which has connected each person, but destiny. And that was what this book was about for me, destiny and how our fate is what it is.
This book kept me interested, more because I wanted to discover the link between the characters rather than it being a very exciting story. I would say that Grind did not have any climax, nor were the characters relatable, even though they told sorrowful stories. However, this was a very cleverly written book. I mentioned already that it is not until the last quarter of the book that the connections between the characters become apparent but, in hindsight, there were some clues for the in-depth reader. Little things begin to ring a bell and there is a slow build until begins to piece together.
The best thing for me about this book was the writing style. The descriptive language was very beautiful; its poetic flow allowed me to build an accurate image of each event in my mind. The normal clichés were not used here and I could see that Vukovic put a lot of thought into the words he chooses.
Overall, I would say I enjoyed this book. It certainly opened up a new style of writing to me and an interesting way to build suspense and mystery. I will be keeping my eyes open for Edward Vukovic’s future work.
Disclaimer: I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.