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Throughout this story I experienced a sense of foreboding, knowing from the prologue that something dark had happened, but with none of the details. The story is told in retrospective by the younger brother, Jonathan, who relates his life, especially in regards to his relationship with his older but mentally handicapped brother Roger, and his love for Harriet. The narrative takes its time, telling anecdotal stories of their childhood, teen years and young adult years with details that on the surface may seem insignificant, but successfully painting a picture of each character so we feel we know them in a reasonably intimate way. When unexpected and unexplainable events happen, we begin to doubt, or at least wonder if our perceptions of the three principal characters are true. This is where the foreboding builds, as it becomes clear that the ship is heading for the iceberg and nothing can turn the boat around.
What makes this story compulsively readable to me is the quality of the writing. As Jonathan tells his story, there is a ring of authenticity in the emotions that drive the actions. You can’t approve of everything he does, and the characters are shown with all their flaws. But in spite of not finding them fully appealing, I did believe them and sympathized with their plight.
This is not a mystery in the sense of a procedural - it’s more of an intimate confessional that reveals its dark secrets small bits at a time. It kept me guessing and kept me hooked. The reading by Rupert Degas was outstanding, especially as he voiced mentally challenged Roger.
PS – If you are hesitant to select this title because of a distaste for bugs, don’t worry – it’s really not graphic about the insects.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed this story. It has a little bit of a slow start but the slow start is interesting. The book is a psychological character study (my favorite kind). Not everything is explained, some things are left to interpretation. I like that. However if you are the type of person that likes everything wrapped up in a bow at the end with every T crossed and every I dotted this may not be the book for you.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful