Lucie Whitehouse's The House at Midnight is an atmospheric read, but it does come with a few problems. However, it does have vegetables in it.
There was asparagus soup to start, then a huge joint of glistening beef that Lucas carved into slices so fine they were almost translucent. There were bowls full of roast potatoes, green beans, calabrese, parsnips, carrots. Horseradish circulated in a tiny silver cauldron with a blue-glass inside.
It's pretty atmospheric stuff (old university friends, one inherits a house, mystery behind the house, relationships go pete tong, all gets a bit shotguntastic by the end) but I didn't take to it. I think the problem is the narrator. She's really unsympathetic to my mind, because she's so passive. She falls into a relationship because the bloke makes a move. Then another bloke makes a move and she snogs him. First bloke dumps her because he finds out, and then she waits for second bloke to contact her in order to start a relationship with him. First bloke takes pills so she starts hanging out with him again, even though that loses her a job she's meant to love. Where's the chutzpah? Where's the chasing after what you want? I wanted to kick her arse until she got up off the sofa and made some decisions for herself.
But this is my problem. I have a different definition of sympathetic. I find characters sympathetic when they move, and act, and have personality. That doesn't always have to be a nice personality.
I realise I'm alone in this.
What, to your mind, makes a character sympathetic? It can't just be moral goodness, can it? How boring.