This is a funny time of year. Something seems to happen at around May/June every year where I get book fatigue. Of reading them, of writing about them. I wonder if it’s weather related, or if it’s just burn out.
It could be because I tend to read books four or five months in advance of when they come out, and the autumn is a quieter time for Fiction. It tends to focus on the big blockbusters, which is fab for them, but they’re not the sort of books I read. (Although, I am looking forward to the new Stephen King: Sleeping Beauties)
I like discovering new writers, and there are only a few brand authors who I follow. So, much to my delight, a debut novel, set for publication in late December crossed my desk – White Bodies by Jane Robins
This is a book about Callie a bookseller who begins to worry about her vibrant actress sister, when she falls in love Felix and begins to retreat inside her self.
Worried that Felix is abusing her sister, Callie begins to investigate.
The book actually begins at Felix’s funeral, Callie herself worried her role in his death is going to get found out. His death is not the focal point of this story, it’s the relationship between her Callie and her sister Tilda.
What Callie doesn’t seem to realise is that as Tilda falls under the spell of Felix, Callie herself is freed from being in Tilda’s thrall.
What follows is a twisting, unexpected rollercoaster ride of a novel, which just as you think you know where it’s going sends you lurching off into another direction.
It’s a little tricky to keep up with at times, and the ending does have you flicking back through to understand how it all ties together.
At the end you are left feeling you do know what is going on, but there is some room for doubt. As a result, it is a little but unsatisfying, but it does keep you guessing all the way through.
Sometimes, it’s only as I write these reviews, that I can reconcile how I feel about these books, and ultimately, as I struggle to find something to say about this book, I realise that White Bodies has left me wanting.
It’s by no means a bad book – I’ve read much, much worse – but this is fairly average fare. A convoluted and confusing plot coupled with an odd lead character (she eats her sister’s hair) means there’s not a lot the reader can engage with.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the one to help me conquer my book fatigue.
White Bodies is published by HQ on 28th December 2017