The first page threw me, I won't lie. The author has a very unique style and I thought, at first, that it was going to put me off. I was wrong ...more
Those travellers came often, `tall men in black coats' from the mainland, and yet the islanders never left. I wouldn't want to leave, even though I might be a little scared if I stayed. Jess Richards has created a ...more
The Plot: The book is told from two alternating viewpoints, both of which are young women living on a mysterious island in a dystopian / fantasy near-future. Mary Jared is sixteen years old and afraid for the safety of her brother, Barney, when other young boys on the island go missing - purportedly traded to the men that come in fr ...more
At school I took O level English Language, so I am good at spelling, grammar and where to put an apostrophe! However I didn't take English Literature (I went down the science ...more
She did. Richards' writing is rich and lyrical. She builds this fascinating culture ...more
Although I'm usually put off by dialects, it didn't take long to get into the rhythm of Mary's and I was quickly drawn into the story, curious about the lives of both Mary and Morgan, the two main characters, whose stories are told in alternating chapters. Mary grew up on the isolate ...more
Very weird. I had to get used to the writing because the island people speak differently, but halfway through I didn't even notice anymore. There's a lot of magic stuff and mysterious things happening but my take on it is that everyone just has a bunch of mental issues.
I definitely liked this more than Cooking with Bones. The imaging is great and it just sucks you in and refuses to let you go (just like the Thrashing House). ...more
Author: Jess Richards
Review: Snake Ropes was nominated for the Costa Prize, which to me always seems like a good indicator for a book being worth reading. Hats off to Jess Richards for pulling that one out of the bag on her first published novel. Anyway, this was on my To Be Read list for a very long time before I actually managed to get round to it, then it’s actually been a wee while since I finished it – apologies bl ...more
Set on an isolated island off the coast of Scotland, the community has no desire to leave their little slice of the world. Their means of survival is self-sufficiency and the monthly trades they make with, “the men in black coats,” from the mainland.
“No-one here goes to the main land, and no-one wants to. Our boats aren’t strong enough, we dun know the way, them can’t understand us, w ...more
My first thought as I review this book is that there was a hell of a lot going on. It was almost as if the author had a million and one concepts floating in her mind, threw them on the ground like a set of pick-up-sticks, and then picked them up and carefully placed them on the pages of her first novel. It's not the novel is incoherent - but it is perhaps a little too busy.
The book begins with two stories:
(1) Mary lives on a ...more
Mary Jasper lives on a remote island in a community run by women. Their survival is dependent on the tall men who come from the mainland to trade food and supplies for handmade goods. The tall men are taking more than handmade goods, however; boys from the island have gone missing, and when Mary's little brother disappears, she vows to find him. She enlists the help of Morgan, another girl on the island who has led a very sheltered life under the watchful eye ...more
That's really the only complaint I have about this very unique novel, although I did find the context a little hard to understand. Is it in the future, past? Where did these people come from, how did they get here? Maybe those questions aren't suppose ...more
We follow two narrators, Mary and Morgan, living on the same remote island off the coast of Scotland but in very different conditions: one as an orphan part of a community living off trading and fishing, the other secluded in ...more
Set on a mysterious island, somewhere west of St. Kilda, in an unspecified though presumably contemporary time, where the locals have little contact with the outside world except through their trade with the Tall Men, Richards has created a matriarchal world with both echoes of life on Hirta and th ...more
Mary and Morgan are fascinating characters. Although Morgan is the elder of the two girls, she often seems younger in spite of the h ...more
CW: human trafficking (of sorts) parental death, rape and repressed memories
What a strange book.. If I'm completely honest, I don't know if I understood everything that went on or was talked about in it or if I did (some things I saw coming halfway through the book) but simply didn't like it.. 🤔 I didn't care about the two main characters narrating this story in alternating chapters probably because I really struggled with the writing style. I often caught myself just reading the words page afte