Becky's Reviews > Disquiet

Disquiet by Julia Leigh
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May 19, 10

bookshelves: library-books, 2010, disappointing, reviewed
Read on May 19, 2010

I picked this one up on a whim at the library, drawn in by the title and the cover, which is beautiful. Unfortunately, I don't think that the story really lived up to the expectations I formed based on them.

An abused woman flees her "Murderer", or her abusive husband, with their two kids, and takes them to her estranged mother's french chateau. The woman's brother and sister-in-law, who has just delivered a stillborn baby after years of trying to become pregnant soon arrive on the scene as well, with baby in tow, as their doctor feels that they should get to know the baby before burying it.

Of course Mom has trouble accepting that the baby is actually dead, and refuses to let her be buried. Who didn't see that coming? That's the main crux of the story, but don't feel that I've given anything away, because all of that can be read in the description.

This is very sparsely written, and relies on the reader to do a lot of gap-filling. The description mentions that Olivia (the woman) "wrestles with her own secrets about the cruel and violent man she married many years before." Well... no, not really. We are given to understand that he was violent as Olivia is bruised and broken, and she refers to him, as I mentioned before as her "Murderer" (which is supposed to hint to the reader as well as other characters that she is suicidal), but aside from an introversion, there's nothing about that aspect of the story at all.

I didn't much care for the choppiness of the writing either. In the dialogue, specifically, pauses are shown with dashes: "And we have to make it -- comfortable." (Pg. 42) It just seems to make everything seem so unnatural, like they are wind-up dolls with certain phrases programmed into them, but run out of steam mid-way through and have to be rewound.

And then certain sentences just didn't even make sense. Like this one for instance: "Outside the million-million green and growing things were absorbing oxygen." (Pg. 88) Umm... well no, plants (which I'm assuming are the green and growing things outside) MAKE oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide and photosynthesis.

And there was such an emphasis on slowness. Slowly chewing food, slowly walking, slowly driving... And even stillness. It's like stagnation. And considering that in this novella, nothing really DID happen, except a breakdown, I guess that's fitting. It was like the world was on pause.

I can see why some people would like this story, but it didn't really do a lot for me. I had higher expectations. *shrug*
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message 1: by Cassie (new)

Cassie I liked the cover and title when I saw it too, but it sounds like it was a pretty dull and uncomfortable read. This isn't the type that I would pick up, so good thing you reviewed it and gave a sense of what the book was like.


Becky I like uncomfortable reads, but I don't like dull ones, and this was that. =\

I didn't even care that the woman had lost her baby, and that's normally something that would really punch me in the gut, you know?

Skip this one, definitely.


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