Two Women Two Women had been on my wishlist for several years and when I found a cheap copy on sale a few weeks ago I thought it was high time I actua...moreTwo Women Two Women had been on my wishlist for several years and when I found a cheap copy on sale a few weeks ago I thought it was high time I actually read the damn thing. Although crime-mysteries aren't usually my thing, I've been reading quite a few of them lately, and this one particularly appealled to me as it sounded more like an insight into the lives of women in prison.
Aaaaand this is the bit where I tell you if you have this book on your TBR/wishlist because you think that's what it is, well, it isn't.
The vast majority of two women, and the part I found most riveting was Sue's life before she was convicted of murdering her own husband.Two Women starts with a prologue which, in hindsight, was probably unnecessary or is perhaps a way to grab the people who are looking for the prison angle when they read the first few pages.
The prologue quickly gives way to Sue's childhood, and is where the book becomes far more drama than mystery.Whilst not exactly likable, I found it very easy to feel an incredible amount of sympathy towards Sue. From childhood she was pretty much destined for a life of violence and unhappiness, and for those reasons I really wanted something better to happen to her, but she does evolve over time and through her circumstances to someone who once again is perhaps not very likable, but understandable. There were times when I felt quite frustrated with her for not trying to change what was happening to her, but I could also see why her circumstances meant that she didn't have the bravery or knowledge to be able to move away from her situation.Her devotion towards her children and her need for them to have a better life than she has had is admirable, but again circled me back to the question of why she didn't do more to get herself out of such a horrible cycle.Two Women is violent, ugly and shocking.
Sue's whole family perpetuate a life of misery for themselves and each other, and there's very little comraderie between any of them. Their emotions and loyalties swing constantly and in that way the characters are very contradictory - just when I thought I had them figured out, they did something completely different that took me by surprise.
Therefore it's a pretty unpredicatable read, and that really had me hooked because I wanted to see what terrible thing happened next or if someone would get bitten in the arse by karma.The part that I actually found most disappointing about this book was, sadly, the prison aspect.
After all, that is what had me interested in this book in the first place, but it felt rushed and not very tense. The mystery element didn't shock me, or even surprise me, and this is not a crime-mystery in the traditional sense.I did enjoy Two Women overall, and probably would have liked it more if I'd gone in with lesser or different expectations.(less)
As most teenagers do, Gemma has a strained relationship with her parents. After an argument in Bangkok airport, Gemma meets Ty in a coffee-shop and he...moreAs most teenagers do, Gemma has a strained relationship with her parents. After an argument in Bangkok airport, Gemma meets Ty in a coffee-shop and her next coherent thought is when she wakes up in an isolated house in the Australian outback.
Written in the form of a letter from Gemma to Ty, the writing is raw and intense, and Gemma’s plight, her dreams of her family and friends are heart-wrenching. But the cleverness of this book is the sympathy that the reader starts to gradually feel towards Ty as the story progresses – and through this sympathy Ms. Christopher is also demonstrating the psychological phenomenon Stockholm Syndrome – feelings of empathy towards Ty, even to the point of defending his actions are classic symptoms.
And I admit, I did feel sorry for Ty – his story is revealed through the course of Stolen, and although he is obviously seriously disturbed, his childhood and adult life do give some insight into his thinking and state of mind.
The descriptions of the house where Gemma was kept and the harsh beauty of the surrounding landscape were written so well that I could completely imagine the setting in my mind, and for me evoked memories of when I have travelled through the Australian outback – the endless horizons, the stark beauty and the colours that have to be seen to be believed.
For me, Stolen was one of those books that followed me everywhere for the two days I was reading it, either physically or mentally and it’s taken me two more days to get my thoughts straight enough to put down in writing. Stolen is an emotional and slightly disturbing read, but also provides an interesting insight into the mind of a kidnapping victim. I highly recommend this one!(less)