Taylor and Angus serve two parts of a whole lot of drama. They have a volatile relationship. And when they break up, it gets ugly.
For Taylor, getting dumped is one thing. Having your ex-boyfriend post an explicit video of you on to a porn site is something entirely different. And now she is out for revenge.
But what starts out as a plan for some kind of petty vengeance, soon turns into something more twisted. Taylor soon realises the person she loved is not who she fell in love with.
With Taylor’s plan for revenge spiraling out of control, she soon realises it’s not just a petty game anymore.
Drysdale’s novel, ‘The Sunday Girl’ is narrated in the first person by the main character, Taylor. This is much the same as Drysdale’s second novel, ‘The Strangers We Know’. And in much the same fashion, the reader sees things from Taylor’s perspective and gets a first-person account of Taylor’s thoughts and feelings.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of first-person perspective, but I did find ‘The Sunday Girl’ to be written better than ‘The Strangers We Know’. ‘The Sunday Girl’ was far easier to relate to, and the feelings the narrator felt, I began feeling too.
This novel had some interesting twists, and although neither party (Taylor or Angus) was completely in the right when it came to their actions, the ambiguity was realistic.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and the modern storyline.
Charlie’s life gets turned upside down when she discovers her husband, Oliver, on a dating app on a girl’s night out. Unwilling to believe her husband could be unfaithful, Charlie digs deeper, becoming suspicious of his friends, his work and his overseas trips.
But the deeper Charlie digs, the more danger she puts herself in. In a search for the truth, she finds far more than she was bargaining for.
Pip Drysdale’s novel, ‘The Strangers We Know’ is narrated in the first person, as Charlie. I find that writing in the first person can be slightly risky, as the story can become jumbled.
Drysdale does do an alright job writing in the first person, although I found the plot line jumps a little bit, as sometimes you’re in the moment, and then ‘Charlie’ will say things like:
‘And that should have been it: rock bottom. A cheating husband and broken dreams. Fair is fair. But no. Life was just getting warmed up.’
For me, it created an air of disorientation, and broke the suspense I was feeling beforehand.
Regardless, the plot itself was quite dramatic and had many twists and turns, which would keep any reader on their toes, no matter the perspective or tense. Everyone is a suspect, and no one is immune to Charlie’s scrutiny.
I can’t say much more without giving away all of the juicy details, so I’ll leave it at that.
The small town of Pagford appears, at least on the surface, to be an idyllic and almost predictable part of the world.
But things are not so idyllic, at second glance. After Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly and without warning, the town erupts into an all out drama-series. Pagford becomes a place of gossip, lies and selfishness as people jostle into position for Barry Fairbrother’s seat.
And while all of this is happening, Pagford’s citizens shine through in the undercurrent, with the author, J.K. Rowling, showing the reader a side to every-day life that often gets swept under the rug and forgotten about.
‘The Casual Vacancy’ was J.K. Rowling’s first publication after the ‘Harry Potter’ series. In it, Rowling breaks away from the magic by plonking the reader head-first into a completely commonplace town, with seemingly dull issues, such as the upcoming Pagford election.
However, it soon becomes apparent that while the election is on the forefront, it is the undercurrent of activity from every-day citizens that is of most interest.
The story of Pagford is innocuous at first glance, and yet, it somehow gives the reader a grim taste of reality. ‘The Casual Vacancy’ is a story of the every-day cruelty and selfishness of human-kind, wrapped up neatly as the town of Pagford, with a bow and on show, like a goldfish in a bowl.
Alicia Berenson won’t say a word – not since she shot dead her husband, Gabriel.
Once a famous painter, now turned notorious, Alicia now resides at ‘The Grove’ – a psychiatric ward. Refusing to speak for over 6 years, when she shot her husband point blank 5 times in the face, Alicia suddenly becomes aware of a new Doctor in the ward.
Psychotherapist Theo, has recently switched jobs – intrigued by Alicia’s case, and desperate to unravel the mystery behind the silent patient at ‘The Grove’.
‘The Silent Patient’ by Alex Michaelides is gripping, from start to finish. Alicia Berenson is an extremely interesting character, providing thought-provoking moments, even in the absence of her voice.
This novel has many twists and turns, partly written from Theo’s point of view, and partly from Alicia’s, in the form of her personal diary entries. There are so many questions, all culminating into a final up-ending.
Without giving away too much, all that can be said is that as the reader, it was easy to become drawn in, invested and intensely mystified – and subsequently de-mystified – all in the space of a few hundred pages.
My only criticism is that ‘The Silent Patient’ ends as quickly as it started, and although that is partly intentional, it left me wanting more – more information, more backstory and more pages.