The Carriage House by Louisa Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was very kindly sent a copy of this book via the First Reads Scheme at Good Reads, and the following is my honest opinion.
In the very first chapter, all I could think was: William, get over yourself for goodness sake. The other characters then went on to make a very poor first impression too.
As I progressed though, my opinions had a bit of a switch around in most cases.
Izzy went from a sulky teenager with real Daddy issues to a lost child that simply needed her Mother to be more present - something I can really identify with, and that is probably why I had the most empathy with the way she was written.
Diana moved from college drop out to a girl who had loved so deeply, and lost so profoundly, she couldn't move on with her life. How happy was I at the end then, to find that she finally got it. It left me wishing that she and Arthur could re-awaken the love, and find a life together.
Elizabeth was my least favourite character, and I haven't quite got my finger on why .... I expect most people probably didn't like Adelia much, so it surprised me too.
Really, Adelia had just made a spectacular mess of her life, she should have had children, not tried to cling to William and take over his family (I personal experience of a would be family hijacker and it isn't nice), no wonder Izzy found her terrifying and threatening!
All in all this was a meticulously put together piece of work. However, I did have a bug bear: sometimes at the start of a chapter it was difficult to define just who was narrating, and therefore a heading under the name would of been useful to the flow, i.e. Chapter #, Diana's story. Just a minor, and personal opinion, but it would have been nice to see.
This is not a book that ends up with all the loose ends neatly tied, but it did finish at a nice logical point. Hey, not everybody requires happy ever after at the end.
Review on my Blog (Blog Post #366 in August 2013).