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In a Cottage In a Wood
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Book Club Selection > Spoiler Discussion (Jan 2018) Value Read - In a Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green

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David Gooch | 4040 comments Mod
******* THIS THREAD MAY GIVE INFORMATION AWAY IF YOU HAVEN'T READ OR FINISHED THE BOOK ******

This is a spoiler thread for the January Value Book Read, In a Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green
Post in here if you wish to comment on the book and discuss details that may spoil or give away important or pertinent details for those who haven't read or finished the book yet.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 554 comments I didn't find this to be a classical mystery exactly, there isn't even really a murder - although there definitely were actions that led to Isabella's suicide. In the US there are places with "depraved indifference" or "depraved heart" laws, in which an individual acts with such disregard to the life/health/safety of another that leads to their death. It seems like that type of law could be applied here, but it would be difficult if not impossible to prove, especially after the death of the husband.

I did like the book and found it more a psychological thriller than a mystery. I did like the gloomy atmosphere that was created surrounding the cottage. I thought the ending felt rushed almost not fully laid out.


Erunyauve | 168 comments Whoa, I wasn't expecting that. I was suspicious of Sally after she mentioned wanting the cottage for her daughter, and the author gave us a feeling of something being just a bit off there, without going over the top. That's one aspect of the book I truly appreciated - Cass Green is the textbook example of showing rather than telling. She sketches the characters with their dialogue and expressions, with action rather than description.

I mentioned in the general discussion that Neve is the train wreck friend who never seems to foresee the result of her bad decisions, but I forgot to mention that it's hard to dislike her, nonetheless - she's not really selfish or without empathy. She does see how her behaviour affects other people and is sorry for it, and isn't so wrapped up in her own misery that she can't feel for others. As it turns out, she's more decent than anyone - including herself - realises. The secrets so many people have kept from both of the girls grow toxic; Isabelle, in the end, is convinced that it's all in her mind. Neve, fortunately, isn't a victim. Because she isn't the sort of person who always blames others for her misfortunes, she retains a bit of perspective. There is a key moment when she realises that her overriding reaction is not fear but anger - for once, she didn't get herself into this mess, and she doesn't deserve it.

I agree that the ending needs a little more fleshing. It's horrible that Isabelle's first and only attempt to reach out to her sister is to make her a witness to her suicide. That, I think, is the difference between Neve and Isabelle - that Neve does see how her actions impact others. The weak part of the plot is how Isabelle managed to stage the whole thing - she couldn't have known that Neve would end up on the bridge that night. The novel is otherwise very well-paced - you never get tired of the build-up, because it's integrated into the various odd things that are happening.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 554 comments I agree that Neve is a well written character. She is complex and though on the surface certainly a train wreck, underneath she has more going on that you would expect. I feel that Neve comes across as real person and you are right about the showing, not telling, that was really well done.


message 5: by Bill (new) - added it

Bill Kupersmith | 580 comments Mod
I very much liked Neve. Most of her faults I've probably either shared, or would have in the same situation. But there have been a lot of thriller plots lately involving an unknown twin or sibling separated by being placed in care separately at an early age and I am getting fatigued. I also couldn't follow how Isabelle could insure Neve's being on Blackfriars Bridge at the critical moment (it's hard enough to arrange a meeting that goes off without a hitch when you're expected.


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