Saturday, 8 July 2017

Whatever You Love - Louise Doughty

A brutally emotional story.

I love Apple Tree Yard - both the book and the TV series. Doughty's writing style draws you in, her characters have a way of making their way into your head and win your sympathy. Besides, her strong female characters are another reason why I like reading her.

I was keen to find out about Doughty's other books and when this one came by, the premise, like her previous one was really intriguing.

Laura's daughter Betty has died in a freak accident while on the way to a class from school. It tracks a distraught mum's frame of mind and while shedding light on her imperfect life, it then takes on a thriller like roller coaster ride to show how she deals with her loss.

What works:
  • The writing is amazing. It is straight and hits bulls eye with the reader. The story starts with Laura's receiving news about her daughter and then traces her life back and forth to her choices and her present life. The writing is razor sharp filled with some great lines.
The lines that resonated with me were: 

We fill our lives to the top of the cup with routine so brimming routine that routine is the whole fabric of life, its meat and material.

Strange, the way little things get to you, the way they slide in like acupuncture needles and like acupuncture needles have disproportionate effects.
  • The characters - Laura, David, Toni are beautifully etched. They live and breathe human frailities and this adds various shades to their personalities and reactions to situations.
  • The narrative - It is quiet and understated. The pace is great and although there is a point when it falters a bit, but it still ends on a spooky note.
What doesn't:
  • The first half moves at a beautiful pace but the second half of the novel is a bit disappointing. It is slow and suddenly does feels a bit disjointed and a let down from the first half.

 But reading Doughty is a pleasure, her dark thriller like stories are beautifully structured and keeps you hooked. Thriller fans will love it.

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