Summary: In this final volume of the phenomenal, best-selling trilogy begun with Griffin & Sabine and continued in Sabine’s Notebook, the mystery of the two artists deepens, their questions grow more urgent. New obstacles (including a sinister intruder) test the tenacity of their passion, and in each letter or postcard, painting and prose are even more richly intertwined. Destined to be the most sought after novel of the year, The Golden Mean builds toward a powerful conclusion that will satisfy the millions of readers already entranced by the spirited, imaginative, enigmatic union of Griffin and Sabine.
With over 50 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and one million copies in print, the first two volumes of this unique trilogy have captured the imagination of readers and reviewers across the country.
The Golden Mean, by Nick Bantock 7.5
“I received your Paris card. I waited but you did not return on the 23rd. I waited until the 31st, but you did not return. What happened? Where are you?” – Sabine
After reading ‘Sabine’s Notebook‘, the second part of Nick Bantock’s ‘Griffin and Sabine‘ extraordinary trilogy, I was left with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the main body of the book was slightly vacant. On the other, it had led to a mind-boggling conclusion that made my jaw drop.
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to read the final part of the tale, but I was hoping that it would provide us with something a little bit more substantial than the previous tome. For all its artistic flair, ‘Sabine’s Notebook’ was lacking in the most essential of all areas: the storytelling.
Thankfully, ‘The Golden Mead’ ramped things up: it attempted to get the fledgling soulmates together but also threw in a third party, an antagonist here-to-fore unknown to them and us. In so doing, it added a slice of excitement that was otherwise missing from the last book.
Unfortunately, this goes nowhere: This entity is merely a thorn in Griffin and Sabine’s side, and his motives are never made known, let alone how he got wind of them in the first place. Basically, he’s just there to interrupt their otherwise flowy dynamic and prevent them from getting together once and for all.
To me, this was just a gimmick similar to having Griffin wander about the world aimlessly as he tried to wrap his mind around what was going on. It adds nothing to the story other than to divert attention; nothing really comes of it, nothing is resolved, and at the end we are left almost at the same place we started.
Because Bantock reserved one final surprise for the last page of the book. And it leaves us hanging with an unsolved mystery yet again – which is frustrating given that it’s the last book of the trilogy. By that point, all the wonderment that the first book inspired in me was pretty much cast to the four winds.
With little to go on aside from its core concept and the sublime artwork, the series simply didn’t fulfill its potential. It’s bad enough that the characters make nonsensical choices along the way, obviously to buy time, but purposely leaving readers hanging and providing absolutely no answers is inexcusable.
Being abstract is perfectly fine and can be quite enjoyable, but there has to be a golden mean between being abstruse and being all-too-obvious. Bantock has not found it. Still, as a concept, this series is noteworthy, and this particular book has moments enough to be worth checking out.
It remains, however, that ‘Griffin and Sabine’ is by far the best of the lot.