AUTHOR: Araminta Hall
PUBLISHER: The Borough Press
GENRE: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary
RATING: 4/5 Stars
In a higgledy-piggledy house with turrets and tunnels towering over the sleepy Welsh village of Druith, two girls play hide and seek. They don’t see its grandeur or the secrets locked behind doors they cannot open. They see lots of brilliant places to hide.
Squeezed under her mother’s bed, pulse racing with the thrill of a new hiding place Dot sees something else: a long-forgotten photograph of a man, his hair blowing in the breeze. Dot stares so long at the photograph the image begins to disintegrate before her eyes, and as the image fades it is replaced with one thought:
‘I think it’s definitely him.’
What I Liked:
- Hall's writing was really good. It's not often that I find a writing style that I can settle into comfortable, I can normally be quite fussy, but this was definitely it. It was mature and thoughtful, filled to the brim with gorgeous quotes and provoked a lot of reflection on my part. Hall writes from multiple POVs, each of them a different age, gender and lifestyle. I never felt like she failed at any of this and that, for me, was very important. Though her characters were not easy to connect with, they were complex and unique and I loved that about them.
- The second half of the book really struck gold for me. I sat down and read it all in one sitting because all of the threads that Hall had presented me with began to come together and make the big picture I had wanted to see. Despite a very basic plot situation, there were so many twists and turns and moments that made me gasp and kept me hungry for more. This really was a book that was worth sticking with until the very end.
What I Disliked:
- The first half of the book didn't really grab me like it did later on. I think the issue with talking from so many POVs and jumping around in time is that for the impatient reader, it can easily become confusing and boring. Every time I felt like I was invested in a story-line Hall completely changed the time period and character, and it wasn't until halfway through the book that I appreciated the necessity of it. Other than a few minor issues with conversations that could have been edited a little better (they were a little too wordy at times) and wishing for more of a connection to some of the characters, that was my only problem.
I've heard many arguments that life is to short for reading a book that isn't grabbing you like you had hoped it would, but honestly this is one of the books that I would use to justify the reason that I always read to the end. It got so good. The plot was simple yet progressed very well, the characterisation was more than impressive and the writing was nothing short of remarkable and exactly the style I like to read. For those that do like a book to get straight to the point, this might not be the read for you but I promise that in my opinion, it was worth the wait.