5 Sep 2013

LITTLE FACE.

LITTLE FACE by SOPHIE HANNAH


SOURCE: A WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2013 read.

She's only been gone two hours.

Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before.

With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it's too late?
...... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1: Friday September 26, 2003): I am outside.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 230): I see her white embroidered Chinese pump-style slippers under the bed, laid out neatly one beside the other, exactly as they would be if she were standing in them. I shudder, half expecting them to start moving towards me.

MY THOUGHTS: Though I wouldn't go as far as to describe this as a good psychological thriller in some ways it was an adequate psychological thriller, I even quite enjoyed how we were left hanging as to just who (mother-in-law, Vivienne, husband, David, or indeed Alice herself) was the true villain of the story. However, overall a disappointing read ruined by totally unconvincing characters and an increasingly implausible plot that is peppered with inconsistencies, Little Face could have been so, so much better.

The story of a family living in what sounds like the lap of luxury. Living in a huge house and with the money to enrol the as yet unborn Florence/Little Face in an exclusive (and presumably expensive) public school we are then expected to believe that instead of a private room Alice spends the post-delivery period of her baby in a multi-bedded ward.

And it doesn't end there.

From the totally unprofessional police, to the health care professionals who seem to totally disregard the very idea of patient confidentiality to main character, David, who, a bit of a bully from the outset, seemingly turns into a sadistic monster overnight.

Great premise, its just a shame that the writing was quite amateurish, the redeeming twist that would have made it all worthwhile never delivered.

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As a said a World Book Night read, here is what another participant of the event thought of Little Face.


Little Face is about a woman who leaves her young baby, for a short period of time, then when she returns home she finds the baby has been swapped with another. 
I found Little Face to be a well written and sinister story that drew you in to the mystery very early on.  That said, I found Alice’s astonishing acceptance of her husband’s demands and her controlling mother-in-law hard to believe and the ending a little flat.  Overall it was a good story, although I’m not sure if I would be rushing to read it again. PS




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13 comments:

Kelly said...

Awww. Disappointing to hear that it fell short in so many ways. The plot had such potential!

Suko said...

It sounds as if the characters could have been developed or presented better; thanks for your honest review, Tracy!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

The story sounds like it has so much potential to be amazing. The plot intrigued me right away. However, based on your review I don't think this one is for me. Thanks for your review!

Betty Manousos said...

i'm sorry this one didn't meet your expectations...the story had such potential. i really like the cover though.

big hugs~
xx

So many books, so little time said...

Uck the blurb sounded brilliant as well. I would still read it but not actively seek it out. Thanks for reviewing.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Gina R said...

Oh my. That DOES sound disappointing. Better luck next read around. ^_^

Claudine G. said...

I'll give this a miss then. The story premise sounds good though. One of every mother's worst nightmares: finding someone else's baby in it and being accused of lunacy?

Brian Joseph said...

Though not all literature needs to be realistic, there are certain types of stories, generally ones that depend upon real world events and situations for effect, need to be realistic to work. Based on the implausible aspects of the plot that you describe, I think that this would have been unable to get into this one at all.

Mama Zen said...

That's too bad. It sounded like a really cool premise.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Aw... too bad. It really could have been good. Oh well, hopefully the next will be better!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

has such a cool premise, that's a shame it wasn't that great. Love a good psychological thriller.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I have never read any of Sophie Hannah's books, but had assumed from listening to different people, that they were quite highly regarded.

Following your lukewarm review however, I decided to check out a couple of the review sites and I see that, in fact, many of the reviews have been less than complimentary about both the storyline and the quality of the writing.

I read just this week, on the BBC, that Sophie has been selected by the family of Agatha Christie, to write a new story for the character of Hercule Poirot, to be published next Autumn.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23945362

I value your honest opinion when you compile your reviews, so I do hope that Sophie manages to do the project the appropriate justice and makes Hercule's new case one to remember ... for all the right reasons!

Have a great weekend and I hope that you are enjoying your latest book much more.

Yvonne

Naida said...

I'm sorry to hear this was such a letdown! That's a shame as the premise sounds good.