Thursday, September 12, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware & Favorite Library Books I Had to Own

Along with my mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Simon & Schuster, 2019
Crime Fiction (Thriller); 384 pgs

Book Beginnings:
3rd September 2017 
Dear Mr. Wrexham,

I know  you don't know me but please, please, please you have to help me

Beginning of Chapter One:
I started writing to you last night, Mr. Wrexham, and when I woke up this morning and looked at the crumpled pages covered with my pleading scrawl, my first instinct was to rip them up and start again, just like I had a dozen times before. I had meant to be so cool, so calm and collected - I had meant to set everything out so clearly and make you see. And instead I ended up crying onto the page in a mess of recrimination. 

Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
"I'm not going." Maddie was lying facedown on her bed, with her hands over her ears. I began to feel desperate. It wasn't so much what I would tell Sandra if I couldn't get the girls to school, but the fact that I needed this break. I had barely three hours' of sleep last night. I could cope with a fractious baby. I couldn't cope with two primary school age children as well, let alone one as stroppy and recalcitrant as Maddie. 

My thoughts:
Rowan Caine never expected she would actually get the job as a nanny at the Heatherbrae House when she applied. The live-in post promised quite a big salary and she would be staying in a “smart” home, everything computerized and perfected to meet the needs of those who live within its walls. The family of five appears perfect as well. The offer seems too good to be true . . . And, well, it is. Rowan now sits in prison, attempting to draft a letter to a prospective solicitor, explaining what happened in that house and hopefully prove her innocence. At least of the crime she’s accused of.

I listened to another of Ruth Ware’s novels, In a Dark, Dark Wood, a few years ago and enjoyed it. The atmosphere. The suspense. The complex characters. In many ways, Turn of the Key has all of those elements too. I confess the idea of a “smart” house makes me nervous (it’s why I have not jumped on the Alexa or Google Home bandwagon). They make the perfect setting for a horror novel, don’t you think? So much could go wrong . . . I found Heatherbrae house interesting—a mix of old and new. The majority of the inside of the house has been renovated and upgraded to be as modern as can be, while the bones of the house, and the outside still hold onto its original roots. Not to mention the house and its property have quite a history, contributing to its modern Gothic feel. I love how the setting of Ware's novels play such a big part in her stories--as if they are characters themselves.

I think it is safe to say a novel like this is bound to have twists and turns. I found it to be predictable in some respects and not so in others. I was not particularly fond of any of the characters, including Rowan. Although, by the end, I understood her a lot better. There is a minor romantic thread, which I could have done without, if I am completely honest. But it did not hurt the story either. While at times I felt the pacing was on the slower side in this novel, overall I enjoyed it.

Does this sound like something you would enjoy reading? Have you read Turn of the Key? 

Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Have you ever read a library book you loved so much, you just HAD to own it, so you bought a copy for yourself after returning the library book you had already finished?

I can only think of one book: Chalk by Bill Thomson. I first came across this book while searching the children's section of our local public library for books to read with my daughter a few years ago, and it became a fast favorite for both of us. The illustrations are beautiful and tell a story about the magic of children's imaginations. There are no words; simply whatever story the reader wishes to ascribe to the pages.

I guess the graphic novel Smile by Raina Telgemeier could count. My daughter checked it out from her classroom library last year to read. She really enjoyed it. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about myself, and so I read it as well. We ended up buying a copy for our personal library some time after that. My daughter just finished re-reading it, as a matter of fact.

I asked my husband if he could think of any books he had checked out that he liked so much he went out and bought it. He instantly replied with: Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3) by Douglas Adams. He liked it so much he not only bought it, but the other books in the series as well.

While I may not purchase books I have loved that I checked out from the library very often, I do sometimes buy finished books of advanced readers copies (ARC's) I have read and loved. And I often buy finished copies to give as gifts for family and friends if I think someone on my gift list will especially like a particular book. But that is an entirely different topic . . .

What about you? Have you ever loved a book you checked out of the library so much you had to go out and buy it?  

 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!

© 2019, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I'm currently reading The Turn of the Key and enjoying it. It has that gothic feel and truth be told, I don't really like any of the characters and I wonder how it'd end, given Rowan's circumstances.

    Yes, there were times I loved a book so much I borrowed from the library that I'd to go out and buy it. I know I rarely re-read nowadays, but it's always good to have a print copy around as who knows when I may want to read it again? ;)

    Hope you've a great weekend ahead, Wendy!

  2. I'm rereading Ruth Ware's book right now for the RIP Challenge. About halfway through In a Dark Dark Wood. I'm looking forward to Turn of the Key. The whole 'smart' house thing is completely creepy to me. I don't do Alexa, etc. either. Imogen Church narrates all of Ruth Ware's books and she does an excellent job.

    As to buying books I first read from the library, I'm sure I've done that. I can't think of any specifics right now. Well, I have some old copies of books that I read in my teens and that I've found in used bookstores and antique shops. Those I would have originally checked out from the library. I didn't have a lot of books that I owned when I was young. My parents thought it was a waste of money to buy books that you could borrow. Ha! Needless to say, that is not my philosophy.

  3. Oh, yes. But not that I run out and buy them immediately. I add them to my long list of books I keep an eye out for, when I'm at secondhand shops, garage sales and library sales!

  4. I've not read Turn of the Key yet but it does sound interesting (the romance aside). I'll keep an eye out for it - thanks for talking about it, Wendy!

  5. I often find library books that I must own, usually poetry or children's books. Books I would want to reference or re-read. My Friday Quotes

  6. I really enjoyed The Turn of the Key. I know what you mean about Rowan. Her character was a little bit hard to like. I love the 56 that you chose, as it was one aspect of the book that I remember being a bit odd. Happy reading this week!

  7. I'm on the fence about reading The Turn of the Key. But I do know I would never want to live in a smart house! Have a great weekend. :)

  8. I haven't read Turn of the Key, but I was planning to. All the other reviews I read made it sound a lot better than you thought it was. Ha ha! I'm doing an all classics year, in a way, next year. I am going to be reading mostly classics, but am also going to read Nonfiction about classic books, or the authors, and retellings of classic stories. I was going to read this as a retelling. I'll make sure I get it from Hoopla or the library just in case. 😁

  9. I adored Ruth Ware's first two books but the 3rd one was kind of meh and I never did get into the 4th book. This one looks more reminiscent of the 1st book though and it sounds like I need to give it a try! I've definitely bought more kids books after seeing them at the library. I can't think of any book I've bought myself unless it was a cookbook!

  10. I want to read this one!! Happy Friday the 13th weekend!

  11. I love the library and make it point to visit various branches each week. Since obtaining my library card (over 30+ years ago), there have only been three books that I borrowed, read, and purchased a personal copy.

  12. I'm ashamed to say that I can’t remember the last time I actually visited my local library to borrow a book (I've been for art exhibitions I the upstairs gallery and used the reference books in the non-lending section). 😦 They just didn’t hold any books in my favourite genre; paranormal romance. Then I got my Kindle and haven’t looked back.

    I hope you enjoy your weekend. Here's my BBH Post
    Flora x

  13. I actually started reading this one earlier this week but had to put it away because I'm reading another book which sort of reminded me of it and I didn't want to get confused. Will be looking forward to it later!

  14. I've just picked up a copy of this and I can't wait to read it. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me


Thank you for taking the time to visit Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Don't be shy! I would love to hear from you. Due to a recent increase in spam, I will be moderating all comments for the foreseeable future. Please be patient with me as it may take a few hours before I am able to approve your comment.