I received a free copy of The Quick from TLC Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
About the Author:
LAUREN OWEN studied English Literature at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, before completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she received the 2009 Curtis Brown prize for the best fiction dissertation.The Quick is her first novel. She lives in Durham, England.
I will start by writing that I felt betrayed by the synopsis. I choose my books based on the back of the book – OK sometimes I’m seduced by a cover – and when I get a story that is so far afield from what I glean from reading that little snippet I get peeved. That is no way to try and enjoy a book now, is it? The story progressed pretty much as the synopsis indicated but not in the realm of…let’s call it my reality.
I don’t want to give any spoilers as I did not read any reviews prior to reading this and while I know you are here reading mine I don’t want to perhaps ruin what the author was trying to maintain. So I’ll try and review the book without telling any tales.
Charlotte and James Norbury grow up basically parentless at the family home – a mansion in need of much repair – but they are mostly happy in each other’s company. When their father dies their Aunt comes in and sends James off to school in London to follow in his father’s footsteps. Charlotte is stuck living with the Aunt, caring for her as she slowly sickens and dies. When James doesn’t respond to her message about the death Charlotte becomes worried.
Meanwhile James has enough means to have graduated school and set himself up as a “poet.” He finds a roommate and they become very good friends. In a time when very good male friendships were not celebrated. Due to family pressures they decide to run off but on the eve of their departure all hell breaks loose and this is the event that precipitates Charlotte’s need to come to London.
Any much more and I’ll blow the story for you. As to the writing? Once I got over my annoyance at the theme I did find it well written enough to finish and the characters compelling enough to feel some investment in their lives. Mostly Charlotte, the man who becomes her husband and the two people who help them most in their search for James. The bad guys were suitably bad and several of them made my skin crawl.
All in all for a book that turned out to be not what I wanted it to be and in a genre I prefer not to read it was good. BUT, had I known what it was at the start I would not have read it and I would not have missed it.
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