Bea and Dan, recently married, rent out their tiny flat to escape London for a few precious months. Driving through France they visit Bea’s dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. Disturbingly, ...more
Hello friends, and thank you for joining me on what might be the strangest reading journey I've embarked on yet. Usually, if I edit a star rating on one of my reviews, I'm typically knocking it down a peg because, the more I've thought on it, the more I decided I had let the initial high of the book cloud my unbiased judgement. I can't say for sure, but this might be the first time I've actually bumped a review up an entire star after careful thoug ...more
The times we live in are uncertain, turbulent, obscure. Financial insecurity, fear caused by leaders who dream of generating the Third World War, Nazi and Soviet sympathizers in power, presidents who believe themselves to be modern sultans, members leaving the Union they fought hard to form. Utter degradation of every basic human value, absence of feelings, absence of respect. This is o ...more
Bea and Dan, a young couple, recently married, decide to escape their lives and take off for a few months through France. They already seem to be having quite a few problems for newlyweds. Dan hat ...more
I am not a fan of snakes, but love my horror and after catching a glimpse of this cool cover, I was drawn in....and fooled. So....for those of you who steer clear of traditional horror novels, have no fear here....not really.
There are some snakes though....but mostly a treacherous humanoid variety. There's a creepy hotel I would not inhabit and a dysfunctional family with filthy rich, disgustingly hurtful parents....who have a horror of a secret.
THE SNAKES is a slow burn and a dark tal...more
Alex and Bea’s parents, Liv and Griff, come to visit, whom Dan does not know because Bea has kept them apart. Liv and Griff are wealthy and kind, and Dan has no idea why Bea has not let them get to know each other. A tragedy happens ...more
Snakes - they are reptiles. Slithering and hissing, coldblooded and creepy. Did you know there are warmblooded snakes, as well? They look completely different, but are just as vile. Yessssss, I'm talking about human snakes. Poisonous, treacherous, apt to play serpentine games. Does this brand of snake shed its skin? If so, what lies beneath? In a dilapidated hotel in France, there are nests of snakes i ...more
Sadly it's not to be but we'll start with the really good stuff. The Snakes is for the most part a beautifully complex and beautifully written family drama - following one family through a tragedy that rips the band aid off the many hidden truths in their past. It is thought provoking, melancholy, emotionally resonant and vaguely disconcerting t ...more
Snakes is a deep, complicated, multi-layered novel. I didn't expect Jones to give us a neat ending with all the loose ends tied up in a bow. But I did expect something, some moment of understanding, maybe, in return for the hours of my life I invested in her story.Jones ...more
So why two stars?
The book hinged on a married couple dealing with the wife's wealthy background. The wife wanted nothing to do with her family's money. The husband thought maybe using some of the money wasn't such a bad thing. The author presents both s ...more
It's a very twisty book that spins out of the zone of predictable about halfway in.
I can't say I found it super shocking, the word that comes to mind the most is actually beautiful. And this feeling strangely lingers...even after that ending.
It's very atmospheric but not necessarily in a creepy crime genre kind of way. For me, reading this book made me more interested in visi ...more
I'm not sure what Sadie Jones's intention was with this book. Is it about family? Money? Love? Abuse? Is it a thriller? A realistic novel? Drama? I think Jones wanted too much, the result being unsatisfying. There were some excellent parts, very thrilling as well, but then there were also large parts, which went nowhere and were unbelievable and annoying. All in all, the book is ...more
Already adore Bea the main character for her goodness. Sadie Jones never fails to create fully realised characters that feel like people you've met and know well by the time you finish her novels. Every character in this book, major or minor, succeeds on these terms.
A dark and powerful novel that is a state of the nation metaphor for the times we're living through now. Greed and lust for money smo ...more
Okay, I'm still not entirely sure what I think of this book. I've gone back and forth a lot on what sort of rating to give this book, since the entire time I was reading I thought it was 'meh' but by the end I had such a visceral reaction.
The first section of the book was mostly a drawn out fancy dinner discussion about privilege, ethics, etc, amongst only rich white people, which was exhausting. I just didn't care about anything that they were talking about, an ...more
The Snakes by Sadie Jones review – the abusive power of money This propulsive novel about venomous parenting is a serious investigation of avarice and justice, wrapped in the rhythms of a thriller
This may be the bravest book that Sadie Jones has ever written, and truly, all of hers rear their defiant heads. She doesn’t land it as a deafening whack, more like a sober blow. You know that you are walking on a minefield when you are reading her novels; it’s with subtle baby steps that lead to the inevitable. You don’t wholly see it coming because it could have gone another way, the one you were expecting. Then hisssss, th ...more
What a mash-up of a novel! The beginning is slow and I didn't find Jones's prose as stellar as I have in the past. It takes a while for the plot to get going and even the characterization is somehow a bit blurry in comparison with Jones's usual scalpel-like precision. Then it all suddenly takes off with the corrupting influence of money and dysfunctional family: the nest of snakes in the attic is both entirely apposite and yet a bit crude in its obviousness. Then a death... and a final ...more
Bea and Dan are that most rare of literary couples, they are happily married. And Bea is happy. She's left her family behind and while she and Dan don't have much money, she loves her job as a therapist, their tiny flat and especially she loves Dan. Dan, who went to art school, is far less content with their life. He hasn't been able to create anything in some time as his tedious job as an estate agent means long hours and returning home in the evening drained. He convinces Bea that they should ...more
Bea and her husband Dan, who are scraping by financially as she works as a psychotherapist and he as a not-very-successful estate agent, decide to take a break and drive their old car to the continent, stopping briefly to see Bea’s brother Alex at the hotel which he runs. It turns out that Bea has refused to accept money from her father, who is rich enough to own a private jet, and that her brother’s hotel is a gift from the father but not really operating, as ...more
Um. So everyone else is incensed that there wasn't an ending, and that was kind of my favorite part of this book? But I'm not saying I liked the book. The first third was intriguing, but then THE WHOLE SECOND THIRD??????? (Which is where I got within about 90% of the way to quitting tbh.) I don't know if the whole premise was that British-ism of "shan't ruffle anyo ...more
Here's how I described it to friends: if you want something that is a total beach read -- family dysfunction, a marriage challenged, tragic death, decaying French hotel -- but with a slightly literary style, this is that book. It's compulsively terribly irresi ...more
This was a roller-coaster of a novel, simply because it was difficult to pin down the real theme. By the time I reached the ending I decided The Snakes were those who preyed on money because it was all they cared about rather than the actual snakes at the property. Bea and Dan are a strange couple because I couldn't work out whether they actually liked each other. I feel Bea loved him, his beauty is re ...more
More would require spoiler tags. It shifts, even after mom and dad join the scene, from a ...more