Traci's Reviews > Gillespie and I

Gillespie and I by Jane  Harris
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Dec 09, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-reads, favorites
Read in March, 2012

I wasn't prepared to be blown away by this book.

If I'm being honest, I really enjoyed The Observations and that is the sole reason that I requested the book when I purchased it for the library. I was a bit worried that this would be another Swan Thieves for me, but she seems to have pulled off the second novel (after the first success) quite nicely. Speaking of second novels, I'm still waiting, Diane Setterfield. It's been six years... get your butt in gear!

I can't really write about the plot without giving anything away (I'm not a person to be bothered by spoilers, but this is one of those books that you really don't want to know much of before hand).

One thing that I really loved about this book was that I enjoyed not liking any of the characters. Usually I have to like at least one of them to really become vested in a story, but this was quite the opposite. They were all equally annoying in their own ways, but it worked for me because the narration was so spot on.

As the book progressed, I found myself scratching my head wondering what the hell was going on... could I trust the eloquent Harriet? What's really going on here? And by the time I turned the last page of the book, I felt a bit used and abused (again because of the genius narration) but in a good way that reminded me of the feeling I had upon finishing Fingersmith (favorite read of 2010).

That all being said, I think this is a book that appeals very much to my reading tastes. It's set in the UK, in the past, and it messes with my mind without being too explicit. I'm not sure that others will quite feel the same way about this book, and I'm okay with that. I wish it had at least made the Booker long list, but maybe next time, Jane Harris.
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Reading Progress

04/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Mady I agree with your comment on Swan Thieves and on Diane Setterfield. Having very similar thoughts on "Gillespie & I", so I definitely need to read "The Observations"!
You are right, for a few days I was addicted to the book, but I didn't really like any of the characters... but *something* always kept me going!


Merel I truly love this genre as well. I was wondering if you would have any recommendations for me? We seem to have quite similar tastes. I also love Sarah Waters books. Is there any other authors like Jane Harris & Sarah Waters?


Traci Mady--I read that Diane Setterfield is supposed to publish a ghost story novella in 2013. Fingers crossed! Glad you stuck with Gillespie and I as well.

Merel--If you haven't read any Kate Morton, I would suggest trying her books. I've only read The House at Riverton thus far but I found that the moods set by these three authors are similar. I don't think she's quite as "twisty and turny" as JH or SW, but the historical settings and character analyses are excellent.


Merel Thank you. :) I haven't read Kate Morton yet but will definitely give her books a try.


Mady Fingers crossed for Diane Setterfield! 2013 is just around the corner :)

I have read Kate Morton after the excellent The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield and most likely my opinion suffered from it. I've actually found The House of Riverton a bit boring (too long for its story) but I've enjoyed more A Forgotten Garden.

I've not read Sarah Waters, but she's on my TBR list!

Have you read Maggie O'Farrell? She focus her stories more on the characters and relationships instead of historic settings (though it's there as well). And there is also a bit of surprise in there :)


Mady Btw, Merel I just realised I know you from decos (had a peak at your blog and recognised your style & handwriting)! :D Small world!


Traci Just added a couple of Maggie O'Farrell's books to my TBR list (I hadn't heard of her). Thank you for the recommendation!


Mady Yay for goodreads that connects readers :)


Merel Mady wrote: "Btw, Merel I just realised I know you from decos (had a peak at your blog and recognised your style & handwriting)! :D Small world!"

Wow! It surely is! :) That's funny.
I haven't read Maggie O'Farrell's books yet but will definitely check them out. :)


message 10: by Mady (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mady Btw Merel, on The Hand that first held mine there is an Finnish character, but that's not my favourite book from Maggie O'Farrell's (though I still liked it). :)


message 11: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Joanna I would agree with maggie of Farrell suggestion! Brilliant novels! I have just bought the Dianne setter field one so am pleased you recommend that! Living Gillespie and I! Can I suggest The Unseen by katherine Webb- its brilliant and of a very similar ilk to what you appear to like! Thanks for your comments and enjoy!


switterbug (Betsey) SPOILER WARNING SPOILER AHEAD

Ok I was blown away, too. And by the last page it seemed evident to me that Harriet killed Ned. What do you think?


Traci Loving all the book suggestions! Thanks Sarah!

Betsey, I didn't get that impression initially, but Harriet is creepy enough that I wouldn't put it past her!


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