Uncertain Voyage

(No Series)

With a broken marriage and a nervous breakdown barely behind her, Melissa sails for Europe, reluctantly and absolutely on her own. When a strange traveler urgently asks her to deliver a book to a secret address, Melissa apprehensively agrees - much against her better judgement. Actually, she's half hoping she'll forget the entire unsettling incident and will find the book still packed away when she finally returns home.

But Melissa is unable to completely dismiss the episode. She realizes she's been followed to Copenhagen, Paris, and even into Marjorca, where she's to deliver the package - should she be so uncharacteristically bold.

This was my first introduction to Dorothy Gilman. I had a four book sampler box set and this is the one I chose to dig into to.

There is no mystery here - at the beginning, on a trip, she is handed a book to deliver for a secret agent when she gets to an eventual destination. Not taking it that seriously, she later learns the man has been killed and has to decide whether to deliver the book.

Well, most of the time she isn't thinking of that - she has a sweet love affair in a town that occupies most of her thoughts. Most of the book is her digging into herself, finding her way through life during a self-discovery trip alone. The book and crime sit in the background. Unfortunately the female lead comes across very weak, dependent, and miserable.

She's such a .... grim character. She doesn't know what happiness is and doesn't know what she wants. She is pessimistic, always searching, doubtful even when good things are present, and sometimes seems even borderline suicidal. She mentions at the beginning that she just left psychiatric treatment and left a miserable marriage behind. Even at one point toward the end she seems calm about the thought of death.

The character evolves at the end, which brings the book up a bit, but the journey to get there was bleak, dragging, and not very pleasant. As I said, there is no mystery, it's a crime piece. The ending is a little too convenient too, no clever twists.

I will read another of Gilman, her writing style is good, and hope it is better than this one.

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