I’m Angry About What Happened

I am left admiring the originality of the plot and the skill with which it was handled. But reading it was more than an intellectually satisfying experience. I am also left with anger at what happened …

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24824392This is one of the most interesting books I have read for a long time. Several writers have used the device of portraying a single event from the perspective of different characters. (You could argue that it has almost been a compulsory ruse of writers from at least Henry James onwards.) For me, what sets this book apart from some of the rest is the way time is used to create an almost unbearable tension as at least two versions of reality slowly emerge and are finally brought together and tested.

The main protagonist, a female TV documentary maker, has a secret from the past that she has managed to keep well buried and away from her partner and son. The author also hides it from us for most of the book, allowing us to guess from clues what it might be. Someone discovers a past involving the woman and writes a novel about the events which he then makes sure that the woman and her son get a copy of. The woman becomes alarmed, tries to keep the content hidden and protect herself from the ending that the book describes. She also has to deal with the consequences of it becoming known. As her world falls apart yet another truth emerges, to challenge our own conclusions, to help her, and to destroy other things.

I am left admiring the originality of the plot and the skill with which it was handled. But reading it was more than an intellectually satisfying experience. I am also left with anger at what happened to the woman both in the past and in the present. I cared about her and her fate. Some of the author’s observations about the relationships between men and women (as spoken through the thoughts of the main character) had a resonance for me and left me feeling challenged.

I can thoroughly recommend this book.

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