I somehow managed to neglect reading this throughout the entirety of my English Literature degree, despite it being such a classic and having so muchI somehow managed to neglect reading this throughout the entirety of my English Literature degree, despite it being such a classic and having so much to unpack. The description of the things the narrator sees in the wallpaper is haunting, as is her final descent into madness, becoming the woman in the wallpaper herself. The story is an excellent critique of nineteenth-century society’s attitudes towards women’s health, especially mental health, and how treatments often sought to stifle women’s creative expression and reinforce their domestic role. It is short in length but says a lot about women’s oppression at its time of writing....more
This series has been fantastic and I'm so glad there was a final book to tie everything up, even if it was fairly short. What I love about this seriesThis series has been fantastic and I'm so glad there was a final book to tie everything up, even if it was fairly short. What I love about this series is that it's about normal people getting caught up in a terrifying situation. Jamie and Kirsty feel so real; they make stupid decisions and they let their emotions get the better of them more often than not, just like normal people. You can't help but root for them and for their reconciliation. When I realised that this novella was interspersed with extracts of Lucy's first-draft memoir, I was a little hesitant. I mentioned in a previous Tell Me Something Tuesday post that I like villains to have motives but I don't like it when their morally abhorrent actions are excused because of something bad that happened to them. Thankfully, Lucy's memoir doesn't do this. It didn't try to make us feel sorry for her. It explains the motivations behind her actions, but her lack of empathy makes her even more sinister. Overall, this is a great conclusion to a chilling series....more
The first paragraph of this novel includes the sentence “For you memory is not a line but a series of baffling circles, drawing in and then receding.”The first paragraph of this novel includes the sentence “For you memory is not a line but a series of baffling circles, drawing in and then receding.” That’s exactly what reading this book felt like. The narrative is very fragmented, non-linear, and frankly a little difficult to follow at first. I began this book by stealing a short chapter here and there which made it difficult to get into initially. When I approached it with a little more time on my hands I found that it completely sucked me under. The book is captivating, almost nightmarish in quality. There’s a sense of not really knowing what is real and what is not that adds to the discomfort of the story. Gretel moves through the narrative with a sense of detachment yet urgency, spurred on by her not knowing what happened that winter on the river. There’s a lack of character building in the novel that led to some feeling of indifference towards Gretel but she’s an enjoyable narrator nevertheless. This is an incredibly surreal and iniquitous debut that has left me eager to read more of Daisy Johnson’s work.
Everything Under is a retelling of a well-known Greek myth, but to know which one spoils the novel. I made the mistake of reading too much about this book before beginning it, and thus knew the direction that the characters would take. This took a lot of the suspense out of the story but the writing is so brilliant that it was still a fantastic read despite this. I would recommend approaching it without knowing which myth you’re delving into – it would make for a much more suspenseful read if so....more
Detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of a young woman on the isolated island of Elliðaey during a weekendDetective Hulda Hermannsdóttir is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of a young woman on the isolated island of Elliðaey during a weekend getaway with old friends. She soon discovers that this group have seen tragedy before, and begins to question if the shocking murder of one of their friend's ten years ago is connected with this new case.
This is the second book in the Hidden Iceland series. I haven't read the first book, and I don't believe it's necessary to enjoy The Island overall, but it may have increased my investment in Hulda's story. I believe Hulda's personal journey spans the series, though the books seem to be going backwards in time rather than forwards. In this book, she's dealing with the grief of losing her husband and daughter, and searching for her absentee father. I found Hulda's personal story not a distraction as such, but I wasn't really interested, I had no investment in her as a character. As mentioned, maybe I would feel differently had I read the first book of the series. The book begins in 1987 with the death of Katla. Although this isn't the central case in the book, it was important background info but the writing seemed to rush through the details in a way that felt really clunky. I felt like the book didn't really get started until around half way through, after the narrative jumped forward to 1997. At that point I began to enjoy it more, and the characters were given more of a chance to develop. I had no idea which friend wasn't going to make it off the island alive, and once the death had occurred, I couldn't decide who I thought was responsible, so the novel definitely kept me guessing. A bit of a shaky start, but an exciting read overall.
*I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*...more