My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was at once, the most compelling, beautiful and unexpected story that I have read for a very long time. When I began reading this book, the first thing that caught my eye was the author’s ability to paint with words. Her descriptions are not only vibrant and colourful, but she uses descriptions that I have never heard elsewhere. A favourite example of this is when she is describing a Victorian Mansion: “It was an aged beauty queen, now with no hair, bunions, and missing teeth,” I wanted to take the time to savor these passages as if they were an exquisite and rare wine.
I found it so easy to immerse myself in this author’s writing. This is the first novel I have read by her, but I will certainly look for the rest of her books after this. There were times during the reading of this story when I wondered if I was going to lose interest in the coming pages. The switching back and forth from the adult life of the main character to her childhood to events twenty years before was handled very well, but there were a few places it felt a bit drawn out. I understand the memories of her life before telling the back story for the reader and it did add an extra element of richness to the story, but there were places where I was so eager to move forward with her current life that the pace frustrated me. This was not the fault of the author, simply my own impatience getting in my way.
As far as the plot goes, I wasn’t expecting this to take the many twists and turns that it took. The way the author explained the intentions and emotions of her characters was beyond beautiful. There really is no way to describe the range of emotions this novel succeeded in arousing within me. I was saddened, brought to tears, excited and fearful sometimes all in the same moment.
Overall, this is book that I feel enriched for having read. If you haven’t read it yet, go get a copy and read it for yourself. This is the kind of literature that makes me feel lucky that I can read.
This review is based on a digital ARC provided by the publisher.