Saturday, February 21, 2009

Disquiet by Julia Leigh

I'd heard many great things about this novella, so I was happy to be the first person to get it at the library. I have to say that I was disappointed.The writing, though, definitely lived up to its billing. It is simple, pure and unadorned. I always admire writers who can convey so much by saying so little. I suppose this is just not the right type of novel for me at this time in my life. I am mostly looking for escape and authors who are high-impact storytellers. I want to fall into a novel and feel that I am living right alongside the characters, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel. Disquiet doesn't provide that level of engagement. We never know what the characters are feeling and because of the clues we get into their lives, we probably don't want to. The plot is straightforward (or so it seems): Olivia and her two young children move in with her mother after she flees her abusive husband. Olivia's brother Marcus and his wife, Sophie, also return to live in the family mansion. The strangeness then begins. I won't say more as it would give the entire novel away. Great writing, wonderful imagery, but not an escape.

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