The Peacock Emporium is occasionally bogged down by repressed feelings and is more of a cross between Penny Vincenzi and Debbie Macomber than Moyes’ more recent books ... Still, Susanna’s journey from a frustrated, spoiled housewife to her own woman is full of Moyes’ signature sweet, tear-jerking moments.
Moyes’s novel has more in common with her The Ship of Brides than it does with Me Before You Moyes doesn’t let readers get to know Suzanna any more than she lets them sink into Athene’s story. On the plus side, the author clearly doesn’t want to focus on frippery. She’s after something bigger ... Are you confused? You’re not alone. The action moves from continent to continent and decade to decade more and more feverishly ... One of my quarrels with The Peacock Emporium is that, at the end, I wanted more of Athene’s story, which felt more emotionally profound given her culturally inhibited choices ... Moyes has tons of material. Perhaps in her next novel she’ll use it to more satisfying effect.
...an emotionally luscious, freestanding novel about generations of mothers and daughters navigating grief and the satisfaction of self-discovery ... Moyes moves back and forth though the timeline to tell Suzanne and Vivi’s stories with profound sympathy. Though this is not a romance novel like Moyes’s previous works, it maintains their legacy of diving into the emotions of desire and connection.
Moyes excels at creating quirky characters and sweeping stories, but her latest lacks the sense of humor and epic love story that made her hit Me Before You (2012) such a success ... frequent point-of-view shifts are distracting and make it more difficult to focus on her journey. Still, there are quite a few tear-jerking scenes and lovable characters that should make Moyes fans happy.