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
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.
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.
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!
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