Last weeks novel was The Book of You: A Novel by Claire Kendal.
Rafe is everywhere Clarissa turns, and he won’t take no for an answer. Jury duty is her only relief, but even that can’t keep him at bay forever. Knowing she can’t stop him without proof, Clarissa begins documenting her torment.
From page one, I felt Clarissa’s fear and uncertainty. Advised by leaflets on stalkers, she begins to write down every instance of Rafe’s stalking and torment. The story moves from third person present to the first person recollection of the stalking events with the easy and simple difference of font change. The suspense builds page by page until it finally explodes in a shocking climax.
This story really got under my skin. I couldn’t put it down. Kendal writes in a real, thoroughly believable way that is gripping and, at times, horrifying. Even when I didn’t like the passive way Clarissa reacted to something, it felt real. Her desire to ignore what is happening to her even as she builds a case against Rafe is hard to deny. The novel forces you to wonder how you would react if someone just wouldn’t leave you alone, wouldn’t take no for an answer.
This is a fantastic debut novel, and I can’t wait to read more from Claire Kendal.
4.5 out of 5. Deeply unsettling and powerfully written.
That’s all for this Novel Monday. See you Friday.
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