Ivana's Reviews > The Hangman in the Mirror

The Hangman in the Mirror by Kate Cayley
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bookshelves: netgalley

I absolutely loved it that this book was based on true facts, and it was the reason why I requested it from NetGalley. It didn't really reach my expectations, or my expectations were wrong in the first place, but oh well...
This book is beautifully written. The beauty and smoothness of the prose captured me from the very beginning. Kate Cayley's writing feels like liquid misery and heartache. It's so easy to get lost in her words, and in the bottom line, that's what this book is about-the power of words. A big plus from me on that aspect.
The main character, Francoise, is a unique character; strong-willed, obstinate, a survivor in a world where it's unlikely for a girl like her to get out of the slump she was born into. Does it make her a likable person? In the beginning, I was rooting for her, and my eyes filled with tears while reading about the hardships of her position. But eventually, when she committed the crime that eventually got her into prison and sentenced to death, I took a step back. First of all, I didn't understand her motivation to do it, especially when she had so many chances to undo it. Second, I wasn't convinced into her story (by the way, there's a thin line between stories and lies. At some point I lost the ability to tell Francoise's stories and lies apart). Is she a manipulator? That question is still floating in my head. I'm torn; great job, Francoise, you saved your life. Shame on you, Francoise, if you only told a "story" to escape death.
I know that the author, having based the story on actual facts, didn't have so much freedom to add twists and surprises, but I really expected a bit more. The identity of the hangman was apparent from the beginning, yet I kept hoping for a twist. Surely that's not all there is to the book-waiting for the resolution that's obvious from the word go? Well, actually, yes. That's all there is to the story.
I would recommend this book for its beautiful writing and a character that will have you guessing, but if you're looking for a meaty story, this will seem thin and lacking.

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Reading Progress

October 2, 2011 – Shelved
October 2, 2011 – Shelved as: netgalley
Started Reading
October 19, 2011 – Finished Reading

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