I worried that this book wouldn't be as good as The Alice Network, mostly because so many of the WWII lit I've read lately has been mediocre. BUT, I shouldn't have worried at all because Ms. Quinn obviously knows her stuff.
This day in age, there are so many "romance" novels out there with a romantic interest who is gorgeous and charming, but broody, and sensitive and vulnerable, but smotheringly possessive, just like Lee Brightman in this story. The difference is that in this story, those qualities show themselves for what they truly are: dangerous.
As a book-lover, I also loved all the references to books and titles, and all the talk about books. I could relate to that on so many levels. Having worked at a bookstore many years in my teens and early twenties, I have a real fondness for the written word and the way a story can completely transport you from the real world to a world of the author's imagining. And books have power: to heal, to help, to encourage, to make us feel less alone. All of that came through loud and clear in this novel.
Her family ripped apart, her father a shell of the man he used to be, she and her brother do what they can to take care of their father and each other, to put food on the table, and find what little enjoyment they can in life when they have so little, until one fateful day, the day magic returned, the day their lives changed forever.
If you knew the date you were going to die, how would that inform your life choices? And would you die that day because of those life choices, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy, or would you have died that day regardless?
This creepy gothic thriller was my first Ruth Ware novel and I look forward to more.
I had two different quotes that kept popping into my head while reading this book. The first, from Edmond Burke, is: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing." The other, from a YA Fantasy series I enjoyed, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: "It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him."
If, like me, you've read your fair share of psychological thrillers, then you will probably be able to figure out the ending of this read, but even so, seeing how the author lets everything play out is just so interesting, you won't care that you've already guessed the ending.
It would appear that once again, I'm going against the grain on this one.
This story has spirit, humor, and verve, and lessons to be learned. It has the sweetness of a first romance, and the rollercoaster of emotions when faced with staying true to yourself or to the mold someone else is trying to put you into, even when it’s well-meaning, and maybe, just maybe, being brave enough to be yourself anyway.