The Peacock Emporium
Jojo Moyes ★★★
The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes invites you to the fascinating and interconnecting lives of Vivi, Suzanne, and Alejandro. Let's jump straight to magic of threes!
For majority of the novel, Moyes's story offers an entertaining read of the mysteries and dynamics of the Failey - Hulme family. I found the exploration and intertwine of several generations interesting, especially as we see Vivi in both her youth and adulthood and the course of her marriage. The character dynamics are entertaining and fascinating, because Moyes takes time to introduce each character and does not rush with revealing their motives and backgrounds. This creates a welcomed feeling of suspense and anticipation. However...
As a whole, the story is engaging and introduces the reader to interesting character dynamics and plot developments. However, I found the protagonist, Suzanne, unlikable and boring. Her character lacks backbone and her personality (or lack of) irritated me. From her disloyalty to her constant complaints and dissatisfaction, I found her character irksome and unlikable. While reading, I found myself rolling my eyes and sighing in exasperation. Fortunately, the novel does not solely focus on Suzanne, but leaves room for exploring other characters and their lives. Also, I found the relationship between Suzanne and Alejandro superficial and unrealistic. Their love blooms on minimal conversation, which limits most of their dynamics to around longing glances and awkward staring. Their romance seems like a forced plot twist in attempt to characterise Suzanne in a more appealing and likeable perspective, but instead both characters lose credibility. Compared to Moyes's other novels, such as The Girl You Left Behind and Me Before You, the relationships and characters in this novel seemed rushed and undeveloped.
3. Light Read
Finally, one of the reasons this novel achieved a relatively high rating, despite the weak interrelationships and characterisation, is due to Moyes's rich and smooth writing. With enough back and forth jumping from earlier generations' experiences to the present, the novel remains entertaining and suspenseful. I enjoyed how the story comes together "in a full circle" in the resolution, which creates a sense of fulfilment and content.