12 Jun 2021


 A Random Gift Of Kindness from the lovely Lainy over at So many books, so little time whose thoughts on the book can be read here, today its my turn to share my thoughts on ...


GENRE ... Contmporary Fiction

PUBLISHER ... Obliterati Press


'Sooner or later, everybody comes to New York ...'

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall - and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem. {Back Cover Blurb}

Sooner or later, everybody comes to New York, and I was no exception. {First Sentence, Chapter 1}

One morning when I returned to the Peacocks' apartment from Lydia's, I found to my complete bafflement that all the books on the living room shelves had been turned around so that the spines faced the walls and the pages faced the room. I checked the library - the same thing had happened there. With slight trepidation, I opened my bedroom door and looked up at my own shelves - all my books had been turned inward too. {Memorable Moment, Page 150}

MY THOUGHTS ... A story of paranoia and jealousy; that much I did get but on the whole ...

A book I'd file under 'Just didn't get it; was I missing something?' 

What was reality? What was the result of increasing paranoia; of a character spiralling ever deeper into mental illnessI guess that it could be argued that this not knowing was pure genius on the part of the author but for myself ... 

What can I say? Come the ending I still didn't know and, quite frankly, I found myself not really caring.

Maybe if there had been more of the Peacock sisters but, as it was, I found myself totally uninspired by and unable to connect with any of the other characters. 

I had hoped that the Egyptology/Egyptian mythology that ran throughout the story might at least prove a redeeming feature but alas, interesting as the Ba, the scarab and the Devourer might have been, in this scenario ...

Hmm! As I said I just didn't get it. 

ABOUT PAUL TUDOR OWEN ... Paul Tudor Owen's debut novel The Weighing of the Heart won the People's Book Prize for fiction 2020. He was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics. He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office. {From the GoodReads site}

FOLLOW PAUL TUDOR OWEN ... ~Website ~ Twitter

Q&A With Paul Tudor Owen on Lainy's So many books, so little time.


Kelly said...

The blurb and the opening lines sound promising, so it's a shame it ended up being such a disappointment. I hate it when I read something and feel like I just don't "get it". It happens often with poetry, but not so much with prose.

nightwingsraven said...

After reading both your- and
Lainy's review. I am truly
sorry that this book was such
a disappointment to you.
For my part, I would borrow it
from the library.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Sorry to hear it left you ambivalent. I don't like when that happens.

Literary Feline said...

The premise is certainly interesting. I am sorry this one did not work for you, Felicity.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I have to say that on the whole, our mutual friends at the Goodreads community rated this one quite highly an I have to admit that I quite like the sound of the storyline.

However, for me this is a good example of why I believe reviewing to be quite subjective, as no two people will ever read a book and leave the experience with exactly the same thoughts and emotions - and that's exactly as it should be, as reading is such a personal experience.

It would be so boring if we all enjoyed the same books, as then there would be discussion or exchange of views to be had between us all.

You have been very constructive and thoughtful in your comments, and that's good enough! I just feel really sorry that you didn't connect with the story or characters! :)

DMS said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one more- it sounds intriguing, but it can be hard when we don't connect with the characters. Thanks for sharing!