The #Bookvent Calendar 2021 – Day Seven

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2021

My day seven #bookvent choice is a book that kind of took me by surprise. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Billed as being a gothic novel, I kind of get where they were coming from, and there are elements of the book that fit that description, but it doesn’t really capture the whole tone, or even the concept, of the book at all. It’s a book which took me time to settle into, I’ve always be honest about that, partly because it was so unusual. Not the story necessarily but certainly the narrators. My seventh pick is …

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The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward

This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, something lies buried. But it’s not what you think…

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This book … I genuinely don’t know how to summarise a review that I struggled to write in the first place. Maybe I should just string together some highlights from the review? Afterall, as I said first time around, when it comes to discussing the subject matter and the make up of the book, less is more. It’s fair to say that the book has the most unusual mix of narrators, one of which you will either accept and run with, or will completely put you off. It was part of the reason why I was initially unsure of the book but when I got used to the unique nature of the authors narrative style and her choice of narrative voices, I really did find myself completely absorbed in this twisted, and often dark, story. On a basic level this is the story of Ted and we spend much of the story trying to unravel exactly what kind of person Ted really is. It is so hard to say, a real lesson in psychology but also in not judging a book, or a Ted, by its cover. Can we always trust our narrators to give us an honest view of what is happening? Perhaps not, certainly at least one of them is very emotionally manipulative and it’s fair to say that absolutely nothing should be taken at face value. This is a story of family, deception, abuse, manipulation, fear, loss and so much, much more. It is unique, compelling, fast paced, twisted, emotional, insane and, in a word, brilliant. It is a story that is part thriller, part horror, part neither of the above. It is chilling, dark, hopeful and melancholic. Intense and yet somehow atmospheric and suspenseful. As I said in my original review “there is an ethereal quality to it, but it is also lodged solidly in the realm of man, as deep rooted as the trees that border that all too dark and ominous wood at the end of Needless Street. Whatever or wherever this book sits, it is one that I’ll remember for quite some time. Completely unexpected but tragically and utterly compelling.” Still undoubtedly true.

You can read my full review of The Last House On Needless Street here.

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Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen

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