it’s that “gentle” type of Fantasy novel, not premised on Action or battles (to this point), which means the magic, and the characters, and the strange realm all need to be amazing...and in this book, they are. very happy with this.
50 Women Novelists in a Row: Book 13!
captivating, so far - seems like a fast-moving and inventive Fantasy novel, which I hope I love. the strange, magical things that have happened already hint at deliciouser and deliciouser delights.
seven stories - and one poem - are what’s left. ‘My Pretty Pony’ and ‘Sorry, Right Number’ were okay, but not really the sort of tale I get that excited about. ‘Crouch End’, ‘The Fifth Quarter’, and ‘Umney’s Last Case’ are all coming up, and they are stories I have seen in their televised versions - so that will be partly about comparing the source material, whereas any real shocks and surprises will likely have to come from the other stories.
The Stone Boy, by Sophie Loubiere (copyright 2011, translation copyright 2013, by Nora Mahony; quote is from page 131 of the Grand Central Publishing trade paperback edition, July 2014).
well this is a good one, very enjoyable, tough to put down and all that. Elsa reminds me just a bit of Wentworth’s Miss Silver - which means I like her...and if she were Maudie, I would expect her to rescue the so-called “stone boy” who seems to be living a very uncertain existence in the house across the road. but, I’m not sure Elsa is seeing what’s actually there, so this seems more like Rear Window turning into The Conversation (both cool movies), than anything Miss Silver cleaned up.
this novel actually ends at page 254, with some kind of excerpt from another author’s work starting on page 255; so, I’m pretty far along!
at first, the book was racing through many years, to give a quickie look at Madame P.'s early life, then into middle-age, before finally settling down and focusing on her life as a 71-year-old, returning to the family home after many years, ups, and downs. with nothing to do on a Sunday, she starts watching her neighbors...
50 Women Novelists in a Row: Book 12!
another book I would never have known existed, except for the “recommended reading” guide called Euro Noir...which, in my opinion, isn’t as formatted for easy use as its companion, Brit Noir. I won’t go into the differences between the two books, but it’s easier, with the way Brit Noir is set up, to flip to a page and spot titles of recommended novels by the authors showcased. but I have learned to love Euro Noir anyway, because it puts me onto so many authors I have never heard of, with more and more of them getting translated into English.
meanwhile, The Stone Boy sounds wonderful; an elderly woman becomes concerned for the health and welfare of a small boy...while people around her, and him(?), are bent on convincing her he doesn’t really exist.
shall finish this later today - it's great, but grim, and full of nasty stuff. hope at least something turns out alright in the end...
Marnie has pieced together a lot of truth, while Noah has gone off and got himself in real jeopardy, still believing the lies.
very twisty - very difficult to detect what is happening with all these damaged souls, including DI Rome. I shall have to ride it out, to understand everything
the scenario is unique - hard to relate this to any other Crime novel, off the top of my head. I can see why this debut got a lot of attention when it came out. it makes you think, it makes you squirm, and it feels like it's happening just down the street. amazing.
it’s an intense read, mainly because everything is extending from the first few chapters, in which, among other things, a stabbing took place at a shelter for abused women. the shelter was supposed to be secure from any intruders, and beyond that, eyewitness statements are conflicting. meanwhile, several key characters in the book are women at the shelter...including Simone and Ayana, both of whom have tragic pasts and reasons to fear life beyond the shelter’s walls, maybe even more than the others.
then there’s the main detective, Marnie Rome, and what happened to her family five years earlier is possibly the worst of everything presented so far.
if you think I’m disliking the novel because of all of the above...no, I’m not. it seems like it may be the best, and most important, Crime novel I read all year. but, long way to go.
I got my wish; I want my Oct. 16-Oct. 31 Crime & Mystery reads to be a little scarier, a little more unsettling - even disturbing. and this one fits the bill right from the start. also, it’s excellent so far.