This book has received rave reviews in the press and has been bought to be turned into a film so I had really high hopes for it.
The opening few chapt...moreThis book has received rave reviews in the press and has been bought to be turned into a film so I had really high hopes for it.
The opening few chapters cover the same time period told from the point of view of a number of different people, it then goes back by a few hours and repeats the process, then it moves forward to just after the first time period and has the story progressed by a number of different people again. I found this to be very disjointed and annoying, my personal thought is that if one persons point of view had been progressed through the time period and then this process had been repeated for another character. I don't know whether the disjointedness was caused by the book being written by two separate people (Lars Kepler is actually a husband and wife team)or whether it was a device that was used on purpose but I didn't think it worked very well and I found it quite confusing. At the time I started this I only had a short reading period each day and I have to admit I gave up on it at that point.
Ordinarily if I gave up on a book I would not have given it 3 stars, however, my partner took the book on holiday with him. He had plenty of time to sit down and work through it and apparently after those initial chapters the way the book is written changes and this device is no longer used making it far easier to read. He did comment that the voice used was slightly unusual and he struggled to get used to it but aside from that he thought it was one of the best books he'd read in a long time. Unfortunately I've been put off by my earlier experience with this so I'm going to wait for the film version(less)
I'd heard some wonderful things about Linda Gillard so was really looking forward to House of Silence. It is a stand alone novel so I didn't need to w...moreI'd heard some wonderful things about Linda Gillard so was really looking forward to House of Silence. It is a stand alone novel so I didn't need to worry about not having read her earlier work and looking through her fan on Goodreads I found that she appealed to people of all ages. I have to admit that due to the number of recommendations I'd received, I didn't even read the blurb on the back so I sat down to read this having no idea what it was actually about..
The majority of the book takes place within only a few days, we have a couple of chapters beforehand introducing us to Gwen and Alfie but the main focus of the story is their trip to Alfie's family for Christmas. Given the short timeframe there isn't time to set up a complex web of mystery, what Gillard does brilliantly is let us know that something is sligtly askew and then leave us wondering exactly what has happened in the past, what the truth is and what it is that everyone seems to be hiding. I love the fact that Gillard has managed to create a modern day mystery without the need for police investigations and CSI, everything is very self contained within the family with Gwen being the only outside presence.
Creak Hall provides a fantastically gothic backdrop for the novel with it's array or weird and wonderful characters by way of Alfie's family. The best thing about this book is Gillards characterisation, she creates unique characters and draws a wonderful picture with her words. I have to be honest and say that out of Alfie and Gwen, I definitely preferred Alfie, he did the wrong thing but for the right reason and I think she should have been more forgiving for this.
Each of the characters in House of Silence has their flaws and is hiding a troubled past, it is to Gillard's credit that she has still managed to make them all so individual and also likeable, even the most troubled and unfriendly of the characters has their good points and you can't help but like. Even Gwen who I didn't particualrly warm to and who I think made the wrong choices during the book was a nice person who wouldn't intentionally harm anyone while still not being boring.
I really enjoyed House of Silence and will be looking for Gillard's earlier work to catch up on all that she has done(less)
Although this is an entertaining read, I think to describe it as a book would be stretching it a little, it is a short story, more of the length you w...moreAlthough this is an entertaining read, I think to describe it as a book would be stretching it a little, it is a short story, more of the length you would see published in a magazine. To give you an idea of the size, I read this in the 15 minutes I was queuing to get my nails done - and I still had time to spare!!
Don't let the length put you off, Effie at the Wedding is only 70p and it is an entertaining read, Marchini has a fabulous sense of humour which really shines through. The centre of this novel is the wedding of Effie's sister, Ophelia, Ephie is a bridesmaid and is less than impressed with the dress she has been asked to wear. She also shares with us her feelings about various members of her family, in a very short space of time she manages to paint a very vivid and funny picture of her nearest and dearest.
The one thing that I really didn't like about this was the volume of lists produced, I know that this was meant to be a character trait (it is mentioned by her sister) but in a full length novel this would have played out fine but in a short story there really were too many.
For the same price as a chocolate bar Effie at the Wedding is a story to lift your mood (which I really needed when I read this). If Marchini releases a full length novel I'll definitely be buying it as I think it will be a read to rival Helen Fielding. (less)
I loved this novel, although the synopsis above gives a good idea what the overall story is about, it doesn't actually show the depth of the novel, it...moreI loved this novel, although the synopsis above gives a good idea what the overall story is about, it doesn't actually show the depth of the novel, its not a novel driven by the story but is very much about the characters within the story.
Birdie is a brilliant character, she has been a petty thief all her life, used as an accomplice by her mother pretty much since birth, but is now trying to go straight by using the proceeds from the hidden treasure she is hoping to locate in Liberty. What she doesn't count on is making friends with the local community. It is the community that really make this novel come alive. Finney who owns the Grill and is the cook is quite scary but she has a good heart, her interaction with Ethel Lynn are absolutely priceless, a bit like Ethel Lynn herself. Ethel Lynn is one of those old ladies who still gets 'dolled up' in her finery on a regular basis, every town has an old girl like her and I loved her! Then there is Theodora, who is usually armed and quite dangerous but is absolutely fabulous, she lives her life as she wants to and takes no grief from anyone, she's definitely a feisty old bird.
What I particularly liked about this novel was that it is a romance, Birdie is thrown together with Hugh and although they are attracted to each other and flirt a lot they do try to actually avoid a relationship, knowing it would be doomed. I also appreciated the fact that although there are a couple of sex scenes the novel is not about sex, it is about the development of the relationship between Birdie and Hugh. I seem to have read a lot of romance lately which has bordered on erotic fiction, I prefer my novels with more romance and less sex. I really rooted for them as a couple and I think the fact they don't jump straight into bed with each other really adds to the storyline, you're always left hoping that they'll get it together.
This is the first book in a series set in Liberty, Ohio, and I can't wait until Christine releases the next!(less)
I loved this book, the imagery is captivating, the story similar to others but with it's own unique twist. I can wait to read The Sick Rose when it co...moreI loved this book, the imagery is captivating, the story similar to others but with it's own unique twist. I can wait to read The Sick Rose when it comes out, if it's half as good as this it'll be fabulous.