'Shared' is a thought-provoking, philosophical story that is at times heavy going, but unlike anything I've read before. I was enamoured of Rachel, the little girl who is the main character, but greatly angered by others in the novel. However, even when I was irritated by those characters, I still couldn't stop wondering what would happen next and what was behind the mysterious 'faints' that Rachel suffers.
I felt that the novel became heavier on faith, religion and philosophy as it went on, and I have to say it made me lose interest to some extent. I loved the interactions between Rachel and her family, was outraged on her behalf when she was poorly treated and pleased when things went well, but I found that the greater the focus on faith and religion, the less engrossed I was.
On the plus side, I was fascinated by the descriptions of colonial New Zealand and Maori culture, interested in the implications of Rachel's condition and genuinely came to like many of the characters. 'Shared' isn't a light, fluffy holiday read, but if you stick with it, it can be inspiring and raise many philosophical questions.