I used to do this regularly sometime back. It’s not a book review of sorts, it’s more an analysis of the story, to help me improve as a writer by understanding the way other books are written. I know book reviews are important but I don’t personally take reviews into account when I buy/read a book. The cover is the first thing that attracts me, then I turn to the blurb (it used to be to the last page) and then I go for it.
AUTHOR: Rosamund Lupton
GENRE: Crime/Literary Blend
VOICE: Haunting, powerful yet fragile
TONE/MOOD: Gripping, frightening, spooky,
THEMES: Families, Murder, Relationships, Sisterly bonds
Debut Novel by a script writer whose background is very evident in the writing. The cover is intriguing with a solitary figure in a red coat walking in the snow.
Beatrice’s sister goes missing and she flies back to the UK from her home in the States to try and find her. Along the journey Beatrice discovers as much about herself as well as lots of things she didn’t know about her sister and her family dynamics.
Twenty-three chapters of varying length all readable in one short sitting. Some chapters are set within a time frame e.g. Monday evening which helps to place the time and place of the story
First person POV hard to maintain but author manages this extremely well over 358 pages, this is a long story. We see the world through the eyes of Beatrice but also through emails and flashbacks of telephone conversations we see how the other characters see things particularly the sister, Tess.
Set exclusively I London, although Beatrice lives in the US the story starts with her coming over to try and find Tess. Some links to famous well-known sights helps to place the story and make it familiar to read.
I was eager to get to the end because I wanted to find out what happened, so lots of hooks and suspense. However, I felt this dragged a little towards the end, almost to drawn out but it did add to the ending which was very unexpected so looking back it was probably the right thing. It was beautifully written with a very distinctive voice.
The author’s script writing skills are demonstrated very well in this story, with very clear scenes which are acted out with a sense of wholeness and distinction. The suspense slowly built up and the sense of Beatrice’s desperation about the disappearance of her sister is very real.
What do you think? How do you use the books you read to help you improve as a writer. If you’re a reader is this how you look at a book?