What if you grew up to realise that your father had used your childhood as an experiment?
Rosemary doesn’t talk very much, and about certain things she’s silent. She had a sister, Fern, her whirlwind other half, who vanished from her life in circumstances she wishes she could forget. And it’s been ten years since she last saw her beloved older brother Lowell.
Now at college, Rosemary starts to see that she can’t go forward without going back, back to the time when, aged five, she was sent away from home to her grandparents and returned to find Fern gone.
I liked this book, but I didn’t love this book. I finished it, but I didn’t finish it eagerly. It was more a case of ‘well I’ll finish it because it’s not a long book and it was nominated for the Man Booker and I’m actually almost at the end’.
The plot was a little slow and dull and kept jumping back and forth between past and present so much that I often lost track of where I was up to. I didn’t care for the characters as much as I should. Rosemary seemed too distant from the reader and I couldn’t relate to her at all. She is weak and comes across as whiny. Although the author unveils so many issues surrounding animal cruelty and animal/human dynamic, the characters weren’t strong enough for me to enjoy the story.
On the front of the book, there’s a quote about how there’s an amazing ‘twist’ in this book. What you don’t realise is that this twist comes 1/3 of the way through the novel and not at the end of it. So the only part in the novel where you’re actually intrigued enough to keep reading is when that twist is revealed. But then after another 50 pages, you’re bored again with the plot and the rest of the novel is just slow and there’s not enough drive for the reader to want to keep going.
I don’t regret reading this novel because the plot is unique, but it didn’t engage me enough to reread it or recommend that others read it. Harsh, but true.