Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls - Jes Baker (1)Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living

by Jes Baker

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls was a surprisingly difficult book for me. I’ve been thoroughly brainwashed by society’s messages about fat bodies. Fat people are gross, lazy, undeserving, shouldn’t do this/shouldn’t do that… and I speak as a person in that category! Consequently, I am probably the perfect audience for this book. As I intellectually understood and accepted Baker’s arguments, a voice in the back of my head still kept saying, You still need to lose weight. So, I have work to do, and this book is an excellent place to begin.

The style of the book probably is familiar to readers of Jes Baker’s blog, The Militant Baker, but I’d never read it before. Baker takes an irreverent, humorous approach–though never a belittling one–to the subject matter. Words in all caps, exclamation marks, and asides populate the book. In some contexts, I would not like the style, but here is it fitting. It feels intimate and personal.

In the book, Baker discusses the concept and need for body love and argues that embracing body love can positively impact the individual as well as society at large because it promotes empathy, acceptance, and compassion. So often, overweight people, especially women, have a litany of dreams they will accomplish–when they lose weight that is. As a result, we are often in a limbo of inaction. Baker urges readers starting to live now to not wait, even if that means becoming vulnerable. Baker traces the history of cultural meaning attached to fatness–in the past, and currently in some cultures, being fat is idolized–and explains the historical context that created the feminine mystique, the beauty myth, and today’s focus on health and wellness. She’s quick to explain that health isn’t the problem–an obsessive approach that stifles activity in other areas of life is an issue.

One of the most revealing chapters discussed the relationship between obesity and health. I’d always thought that fatness was related to diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, and high blood pressure. I thought of an old commercial for Jenny Craig where a husband and son approach the mother–they want her to lose weight because they care about her, they want her to have a long life. It sounds reasonable. What I didn’t know was those health problems–those are more likely to be caused by yo-yo dieting than obesity. Fat and thin people can be healthy, just as fat and thin people can be unhealthy. I also really enjoyed the chapter on body currency which postulated that the vitriol from trolls against happy, visible fat women comes in part due to sexism but also because of the idea that most people have bought into society’s standards about weight and have invested in them. Women who flout those beauty standards have in effect “cut in line”–they’ve achieved happiness without the investment. Of course, they are probably not very happy themselves.

So what to do? Baker has several suggestions: takes selfies both to increase your self-esteem and to expand representation of diverse bodies. She promotes affirmations based on neuroplasticity, the science that indicates brains can be “rewired.” Her chapter on mental health has valuable information for people of all sizes and orientations. A chapter on fashion encourages readers to wear whatever the fuck they want, and it’s particularly fun because it recounts her offensive against Abercrombie and Fitch and her response to Lane Bryant’s #IMNOANGEL advertising campaign.

Baker realizes her position of privilege as a white woman who is overweight but still has the desired hourglass figure. She acknowledges and invites diverse readers to voice their experiences, and she embraces this in the book by including a number of brief guest essays from women of color, trans men, fat men, and experts in medicine and sex including Sonya Renee Taylor of the Body is Not an Apology.

My quibbles with the book are few. One thought I had was that the chapter on the history that villainized being fat could have been better documented, though given the constraints of the book, what Baker wrote–a high level introduction–isn’t unreasonable and invites further research. I also wished the book included pictures. Baker references cartoons and images, such as those she created in response to Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO Mike Jeffries, who was unapologetic when criticized for not offering larger women’s sizes. Admittedly, the relevant images aren’t too difficult to find online, but I thought that including reproductions would have enhanced the book.

I think anyone and everyone who has ever felt insecure about their bodies (and who hasn’t?) should read this book and use it as a springboard for further thinking and investigation as well as inspiration to take up space, be loud, and love your body.

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Populace

Populace - A.M. WilsonPopulace

by A.M. Wilson

After a series of nuclear attacks that wiped out Washington DC, New York City, and Los Angeles, the New United States of America formed in Omaha, Nebraska. Roger Wilkins, President, is also CEO of the most powerful company, the Leviathan Corporation. They keep the populace compliant through a diet of synthetic drugs and fear, not to mention a chip implanted at the base of their neck that will explode if they leave the city. Most of the population lives in ghettos with their food and necessities provided by the government, but Tom Stout is an elite. He is one of the few real people who work in the Communications Department, and his status affords him an apartment overlooking the bread line–to remind him of his roots–and a beautiful, wealthy fiancee. A personal meeting with Wilkins himself elevates his ambition.

But in this cocoon of safety, a shattering act of violence propels Tom out of the city. Roger tasks him with finding terrorist and traitor Joe Ikowski, responsible for inventing a device that has killed thousands. With a band of Immortals, a highly trained team of elite soldiers, Tom journeys to underground caves in Kentucky. His quest takes him to the Arizona desert, Mexico, and the Rocky Mountains. Without synthetic drugs to dull his mind, he experiences emotions for the first time, developing friendships, testing loyalties, and questioning the authority of the government. During his trek across what was once America, Tom begins to learn the unthinkable truth of his country and the origin of his own identity. With its indictment of current policies, Populace stands as a cautionary tale, but it is also a rollicking read with interesting and unexpected turns.

What I liked best about the book was the story which captured my attention and appealed to my interest in dystopias and science fiction. It incorporates several common aspects of such work but combines them in novel ways. It was also interesting to see the “old” United States through the eyes of Tom, who yearned for it, and Mike, who had lived in it. These perspectives provide a lens for the readers to consider issues currently facing society–income inequality, hunger, and climate change, for example. Wilson incorporated some current political issues to humorous effect; in one scene, the Mexican government is worried about refugees and wants Leviathan to pay for a wall. More serious are the different ways that governments use to control the populace and maintain power despite a near-universal desire for freedom. The extent to which people have a choice in their subjugation is a question that lingers after the book ends.

A few facets of the book were problematic. I found a few inconsistencies in plot. Additionally, at times, the dialogue was awkward and stiff. One particular device reminded me so much of Matrix Reloaded that I found myself distracted. The biggest problem in the book, though, is the treatment of women. I could see an argument being made that in a hierarchical, highly controlled society, gender divisions would become more rigid, and in presenting gender in this way, the author is attacking such structures. However, I don’t think that’s what is happening here. For example, all the Immortals are men as are the dronewalker pilots. Including female soldiers and pilots would have enriched the book and promoted diversity. Likewise, in the Rabbit Hole, a brothel, the prostitutes, at least those mentioned, are all women adhering to an idealized type. To me, this represents a missed opportunity and decreased my overall enjoyment of the novel. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the novel. I did like it and would recommend it to others who appreciate dystopian fiction. I just think it had even more potential.

Thank you to Netgalley and A.M. Wilson for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Cassandra

The Cassandra by Sharma ShieldsThe Cassandra

by Sharma Shields

In 1944, Mildred Groves, Star Pupil (of six) at the Omak Secretarial School, becomes a secretary for Dr. Phillip Hall at the top-secret World War II facility Hanford in South Central Washington state. Her new job represents not just a chance to contribute to the war effort but also a way to escape her domineering mother and sister. But Mildred is not just an excellent employee–she possesses an unusual gift. She receives visions that foretell the future. As a child, her visions earned her the moniker “Mad Mildred,” and she learned to be silent and keep her premonitions secret. But with production of “the product” speeding up, Mildred has renewed visions of overwhelming death and destruction. She is no longer able to remain silent, yet no one believes her prognostications. Again, people see her as “Mad Mildred.” Still, her visions gain strength until she must act to stop them to save herself if not the world.

Unusual in its combination of historical fiction and fantasy, The Cassandra has a number of strengths. Before reading this book, I didn’t know about the Hartford facility, and here, it is realistically depicted, including the intensive secrecy, the racial segregation, the divisions based on gender, and the devastation to the community and the environment. The Cassandra also offers a rich palette of symbolism, using the wind, rivers, birds, and animals to convey messages of fear, punishment, and overwhelming emotion. Mildred in particular struggles against the expectations of gender and the power and violence embodied by men, at times resistant, at times embracing it.

An interesting character, Mildred begins the novel with wide-eyed, naive optimism, but as she learns more about the “product” and experiences more visions and the accompanying dismissal of them, she becomes cynical and isolated, mistrustful of even her closest friends. Her language takes on a harsher tone, and her lost innocence is reflective in her coarse words, including the integration of such terms as fuck, shit, and asshole. Her withdrawal becomes accentuated when she falls victim to violence and then perpetuates that violence on others and herself. Some of the other characters are more one-dimensional, especially the villains in the story, and I wish they’d have been developed more realistically, although others reveal unexpected depth and compassion.

When Mildred experiences her visions, she encounters shape-shifters and tricksters, and the language of the novel slides to metaphorical. At times, this works, but at times, the combination of historical fiction and fantasy have an uneasy alliance, and the book I think struggles to integrate them. Still, the visions are haunting, and in one in particular, from the point of view of a young girl, readers see them impact of the atomic bombs on the hibakusha, the Japanese survivors affected by radiation poisoning, in a harrowing way that will remain with me for a long time.

The Cassandra questions how women or disenfranchised can make a difference when their wisdom is ignored and challenges a particularly masculine relationship with the world. While it doesn’t provide answers, it offers a rich tapestry to consider. Fans of The Future Home of a Living God and Woman on the Edge of Time will be particularly pleased with this book as will readers of feminist fiction.

Thank you to Netgalley and Henry Holt & Company for an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author’s Website

Publisher’s Page

Sometimes I Lie

IMG_7544Sometimes I Lie

by Alice Feeney

Unable to speak or move, but aware, Amber Reynolds lies in a coma after an accident. She unravels the mystery of what brought her to the hospital through three timelines: her current state, the events immediately leading up to the incident, and a twenty-five year old diary. Complicating the narrative is a message from Amber before the story begins: My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 1. I’m in a coma, 2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore, 3. Sometimes I lie.

Sometimes I Lie was an enjoyable read, nothing too deep, but I was drawn into the mystery. Even though I was looking for the “trick” in the book, I was still surprised when it was revealed, though I think I probably should have been able to figure it out! I don’t want to say much more about the plot to avoid spoilers. Some of the author’s turns of phrase, such as “It took a lot of love to hate her the way I do,” I thought were well written and enhanced the book for me and elevated it above a simple mystery.

What I didn’t like was that even after finishing the book, I couldn’t get a handle on the extent of the narrator’s misdirection. Often with an unreliable narrator, I find that at the end of the story I have a sense of what is “real” and “fabricated” but here, I was as mistrusting at the end as I was at the beginning, and I wondered if I could count on anything being real in the context of the narrative. Because of that, it felt a little unsatisfying to me, like being unsteady on my feet after riding a roller coaster.

Even so, I do think that fans of Paula Hawkins, Ruth Ware, and Peter Swanson will enjoy this psychological thriller.

Publisher’s Site

Author’s Site

Still Lives

Still Lives by Maria HummelStill Lives, an exhibition at Los Angeles’ Rocque Museum by feminist artist Kim Lord was to open in concert with the museum’s largest fundraiser of the year, the annual Gala. The eleven paintings in the exhibition portrayed female murder victims, including Nicole Brown Simpson and Kitty Genovese, graphically depicting the aftermath of their murders and were based on Lord’s trademark process–she photographed herself as the subject, and then painted the photographs. When done, she ritualistically destroyed a flash drive with the only copies of the photographs.

Much hinged on the Gala and exhibition. The Rocque Museum had been financially mismanaged for years and struggled to stay afloat. Lord hadn’t had an exhibition in ten years, and her last, thought commercially successful, was critically panned. Los Angeles’ elite were on hand, eager to see the artist. Yet, Lord did not show up. Maggie, a writer and editor at the museum, originally planned to skip the Gala. After all, Lord was dating her ex-boyfriend, Greg, and her feelings were still raw. Yet her roots as a journalist compelled her to ask questions, and her history with violence drew her to the mystery of Lord’s disappearance.

My absolute favorite part of Still Lives was the museum setting and the insight into the responsibilities of various departments for creating a successful exhibition. Although Maggie visits the galleries off the exhibition, most of the action takes place in the offices that the public never sees, and so offers a window into its inner workings. The vagaries of the art market also play into the plot. Furthermore, I enjoyed the range of female friendships depicted in the novel. When so many books have isolated and aloof characters or characters whose friendships strain under jealousy, it’s refreshing to have instead positive, strong relationships that, while not always smooth, survive due to mutual respect and trust.

Of course, the novel questions the fetishization of women murder victims’ bodies which is a timely and interesting theme. Most cable packages have at least two true-crime networks, and shows like Dateline and 48 Hours remain popular. Lord said her exhibition was “a tribute to the victims and as an indictment of America’s obsession with sensationalized female murders” and Still Lives itself can be viewed in the same way. But in providing a homage (and creating another victim, the missing Lord), does the book fall into the same trap of exploiting female victims? The book asks what value can be had in viewing the famously murdered faces and how best to honor them.

Enjoyable to read, Still Lives also challenges with its questions relating to women-as-subjects, women-as-victims, and even women-as-perpetrators. I recommend adding it to your “to read” list.

Author’s Site

Publisher’s Site

Behind Her Eyes

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Behind Her Eyes

by Sarah Pinborough

Londoner and single-mom Louise is caught in a routine. She hasn’t had a relationship since her divorce and her only real reprieve from loneliness is her six-year-old son, Adam. But one night, she meets a mysterious man at a bar. He tells her, “No names, okay? No jobs. No dull life talk. Let’s talk about real things.” They end up kissing but he pulls away, saying he can’t go through with it. The next day, she learns that the man from the bar is her new boss, Dr. David Martin, who just moved to the city with his glamorous and impeccable wife Adele. Not too long after that, Louise literally runs into Adele and they begin a friendship. At the same time, she starts sleeping with David. Louise is torn; she knows her actions are treacherous but she is attached to both Adele and David and can’t give either up. Still, she realizes that their marriage harbors dangerous secrets. Adele shows signs of being abused. Once she had a black eye. Additionally, she faithfully answers David’s regular twice-a-day phone calls and consents to his control of the family finances. As she becomes more embroiled in relationships with them, her loyalties are tested and she becomes drawn into a vortex of manipulation and jeopardy.

Behind Her Eyes can only be described as ridiculous. Up to a point, the plot is predicable. Chapters alternate between Louise and Adele as narrators and their voices are not sufficiently distinct. As a character, Louise was naive, foolish, and stupid, and it was hard to sympathize with her as she made increasingly poor decisions endangering her son in the process. I also found that the writing was simplistic.

However, I could not put this book down! As silly as the plot was, I wanted to know what happened. And the story brought up interesting ideas about secrecy and the weight one should give to past events. Readers who want a serious, thoughtful book, should look elsewhere. However, this is the perfect airplane or beach book because it is compelling but takes little intellectual engagement.

New Clone City

IMG_7532New Clone City

by Mike Hembry

New Clone City is a futuristic metropolis full of diverse characters and disincentive neighborhoods. Almost everyone has wetware and navigates through projections and virtual advertising, trying their best to avoid having psychotic episodes from the stimuli. With New Clone City lies Fuji City, housing the many refugees streaming into the city from war-torn areas.

Within this environment, we meet Jimmy, who is fond of alcohol and drugs but not so much of working, though is loved by his common-law wife, Julia, regardless. Hostile and aloof Claire works at a vegan health food store fronting as an eco-revolutionary collective. Among the transsexual and queer sex workers who frequent Charlie’s Garden, dominatrix Jeannie provides leadership to a well-organized community. And Al, agent of the state police, hates them all. The characters travel their own trajectories, at times intersecting, but ultimately following their own arcs against the treat of climate change, a burgeoning refugee crisis, and Al’s determination to destroy the diversity that gives New Clone City its flavor.

Mike Hembury presents a vivid depiction of the urban environment filled with unusual street names and unique stores, restaurants, and churches. It’s easy to believe, reading the book, that New Clone City is real, not the product of imagination. The themes of climate change, refugees, and state-sponsored terrorism are timely and important but here are not presented in preachy, dogmatic ways. And the primary characters were all diverse, not a straight, white male among them. Although it took me some time to get into the book and acclimate to the unique style and tone, I became very invested in the characters, particularly Jeannie.

Some aspects of the book that I didn’t like included a somewhat choppy way of writing, where most of the sentences are subject+verb without much variety. I also thought that some of the characters were inconsistent. For example, Claire, who when we first meet her is wearing a shirt condemning driving throws out an orange juice carton instead of recycling it. And at times, the dialogue is stilted and unnatural.

Towards the begging of the book, the “U,” New Clone City’s transportation system, offers myriad examples of technology and how the real, or “meatworld,” interface, including Claire’s virtual panthers who are visible to others jacked in. However, this integration disappears as the book progresses, and only Claire and her boyfriend Illya seem to connect to the virtual world. While this could be a function of different characters of different classes and their varying access to technology, it seems strange that in large crowd scenes, such as a riot precipitated by police during a peaceful demonstration, that no one has projections or is jacked in.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the book is that there is less resolution than I like when reading a novel. While the characters have come to a natural pause in their storylines, there was enough open-endedness that I felt unsettled. Hembury has said that he’s developing a sequel, so hopefully, the plot lines will be developed in the next novel in the series. I will definitely be reading it!

Thank you to NetGally and the Wild World for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

Career of Evil

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Career of Evil

Cormoran Strike #3

Robert Galbraith

When Robin Ellacott receives a package addressed to her at Cormoran Strike’s detective agency, she expects to find party favors she ordered for her upcoming wedding. Instead, she can’t help but scream when she opens it only to find an amputated leg, cut just beneath the knee where Strike himself had his leg amputated after being caught in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. A person non grata among police since he solved two high profile cases that stumped the Met, Strike reaches out to the only detective who will still takes his calls, Eric Wardle. Although Strike respects Wardle, he focuses on an obvious suspect, an organized crime figure, instead of the three men that Strike believes capable of such an act of depravity, three men who have committed atrocities in the past and who have grudges against Strike. Strike and Robin begin their own investigation, skirting danger as they get closer to the three suspects, and as the true killer unspools his plans for revenge.

Career of Evil is skillfully written and well-paced with a fully developed environs populated by exacting detail. Although at times these details are unpalatable, they are evocative of people and place. For example, one character is described as such: “She was leaning on a stick, one of her ankles swollen and bandaged, the foot encased in a sandal that displayed yellowing toenails.” While I found the description repulsive, I was also caught up in the vivid detail it provided. So complete was the world J.K. Rowling-as-Galbraith created, I was at times stunned when I quit reading and found myself in a different universe.

This entry in the Cormoran Strike series delves deeper into Robin and Strike’s relationship, and I have mixed feelings. I don’t really like the will they-won’t they dynamic and wish that they could have a non-romantic, professionally-based friendship. Yet, I detest Robin’s finance Matthew and certainly would like to see Robin jettison him. Although Charlotte, Strike’s ex-fiancee, still weighs on Strike’s mind, she doesn’t appear in the book, a fact for which I was grateful because I thought her presence was unnecessary and irritating in the previous entries.

In both The Silkworm, the previous book in the series, and Career of Evil, Rowling/Galbraith writes characters who are so misogynistic and full of hatred towards women, it can be difficult to read, such as “At heart, of course, all women were cheating cunts, determined to take more than they gave.” The loathing is so vitriolic and the resulting violence so abhorrent, at times I wonder if it is too extreme, and of course, it’s hard to get my head around the fact that the obloquy comes from the imagination of a woman, although in this book, Robin does provide a counterpoint by expressing rage at men who objectify and demean women.

Despite that quibble, this has been my favorite Cormoran Strike book thus far, and there were times I was genuinely surprised. Certainly, those who have read and enjoyed the previous volumes will want to read Career of Evil and it should please most mystery fans as well.

A painting that figures in the book…

in-thoughts-of-you-notecardIn Thoughts of You

Jack Vettriano

 

The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Book

the ultimate vegan breakfast cookbook.pngThe Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Book: 80 Mouthwatering Plant-Based Recipes You’ll Want to Wake Up For

by Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer

Each morning, I eat and enjoy breakfast, but I have a limited stable of alternatives–cereal, toast, maybe pancakes on a special day. To expand my repertoire, I was excited to read The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Book, although I was a little skeptical. How could breakfasts fill an entire book? Wouldn’t there be a lot of repetition? I was delightfully surprised to have my expectations falsified.

Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer, authors of The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Book write Eat This!, the leading vegan food blog in Germany. Overall, the book is beautifully designed with lovely photographs, many of them taken from above the dishes which is something I don’t remember seeing in many cookbooks but which offered an enticing view of the dishes. The recipes themselves are easy to follow with clear instructions, and it’s surprising that this is a translation from German, the English is so seamless. Most of the ingredients are straightforward and easily accessible, though I was also introduced to maca powder and kala namak (black salt). Interestingly, the authors have opted not to include nutritional information due to problems in the methodology of calculating calories. Instead, the recipes are labeled as “light,” “balanced,” or “comfort food.” If relevant, the dishes are tagged as sugar, oil, and/or soy free, and tips provide helpful alternative ingredients or serving options.

Like most cookbooks, this one has introductory pages with pantry staples and equipment suggestions. Personally, I don’t drink tea or coffee, so those sections weren’t relevant to me, but the authors also had information on nuts, berries, and seeds, focusing on those with high nutritional value. I learned that raspberries are one of the oldest cultivated fruits in Europe. The authors explain that their recipes utilize quinoa, spelt and rye, oats, millet, and black rice. In the Tips and Tricks section, they include interesting information about breakfast traditions around the world.

I found so many recipes in this book I wanted to try! The smoothies look so colorful and delicious, they are all appealing. The “Buttermilk” Shake with Orange and Almonds look especially good to me and uses only three ingredients! In the Breakfast to Go section, I want to make nearly every dish. I am eager to try the “Egg Salad” Sandwich and the Stuffed Parthas, a traditional breakfast in North India. One-Bowl-Wonders includes porridges, yes, even a chocolate-based one! There are also smoothie bowls which are interesting if not to my taste. Of course the Sweeter Side of Mornings appeals to me, with the Glazed Donuts taking center stage. The Weekend Brunch section offers the intriguing dishes Breakfast Frittata, Hash Brown BLTs, and Pesto Bread. A final section on Pantry staples provides instructions for rolls and bread, both sweet (e.g. hazelnut) and savory (e.g. Cashew Cheese) spreads, and “meat.”

With The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Book, I can rescue myself from my breakfast doldrums! I think it’s a great addition to any kitchen cookbook shelf but definitely something vegans should check out, especially if you are like me an in a rut with breakfast food.

Thank you to Netgally and The Experiment, LLC for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

the death of mrs westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Ruth Ware 

Harriett “Hal” Westaway, a twenty-one-year-old tarot card reader on the Brighton West Pier, avoids her mail, full as it is with “Final Notice” bills and tries to hide, with little luck, from loan shark Mr. Smith’s enforcers. When she receives a notice from a lawyer based in Penanze that she is a beneficiary of the estate of Hester Westaway, her grandmother, she couldn’t be more relieved. The only problem is that her Westaway grandparents have been dead since before she was born. Yet, armed with her extraordinary cold reading skills, she believes that she can con the family and save herself from her penury, not to mention broken teeth and bones at the hands of Mr. Smith’s goons. But, meeting the Westaway clan, Hal senses that deep secrets underlie their civilized and polite exteriors. As she gets closer to uncovering these secrets, she finds she is in more danger than she could imagine.

The book includes descriptions of tarot cards and tarot card readings which I found fascinating, and accompanying that, characters consider superstition versus suspicion and fate versus free-will. Magpies factor into the story in the form of the “One for sorrow…” poem, an infestation of magpies at Trepassen House, Mrs. Westaway’s estate, and a tattoo Hal has in memory of her mother. I thought, though, that this symbolism was not as effective as that that came from the tarot cards.

Hal was an interesting character, forced to fend for herself when her mother was killed in a hit-and-run accident when Hal was just two weeks shy of turning eighteen. Other characters view her as reticent, and she refers to her external presence as mouse-like, but her spirit and her determination are fierce. Other characters were less developed, and I couldn’t understand the motivations of some of her new “family” members, but all of them had some bit of complexity or nuance.

This was definitely my favorite Ruth Ware book thus far, and I found it engaging and well-written. I think her fans will be pleased with this title, and readers who like Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins should enjoy it as well.

Ruth Ware’s website includes more information about this and other titles.

As is often the case, the UK edition of the book had a different design. I like the American version better. What do you think?

the death of mrs westaway uk