Friday, March 21, 2014

The Turning by Francine Prose


I didn’t know what to expect from this book, nor did I really have high aspirations for this book right from the start. This had a really cool cover, and I think it was a Goodreads recommends based off of something on one of my shelves. I have had this sitting in my to-read list for a while now, and I was in need of a book fast, and this was all the library had available that I wanted to read. I really liked this book, and I’m so glad I read it.
As I said, the cover was really what drew me in, and the summary sounded like this couldn’t be all bad. The book is written as a series of letters. Jack is spending his summer on an isolated island in a very creepy house with a housekeeper and two children whom he is tasked with entertaining. He is writing his girlfriend and dad, and this is how we get the story. I listened to this in audio book and loved it. Each letter is read by a different voice actor so you really get the feeling like you are sitting with these characters as they write. It also gives the inflection the author tries to convey with each letter because these actors don’t just monotonously read these.
As Jack learns more and more about the house and the people who have come and gone, things begin to happen. Things that might be explainable if you really tried hard enough, but most are just odd. I wish I could elaborate a little more, but I don’t want to ruin a thing if you decide to read this for yourself. The plot is very well written and held my attention really well. I couldn’t wait to read what was going to happen next. I will admit that this is pretty predictable, but I got so wrapped up in this that towards the end I actually got chills. This isn’t horror or even over the top creepy, but there were moments that just made goose bumps pop up on my skin and chills run up my spine.  I think it was part excitement and part creepiness.
I really enjoyed this book, and I am so glad I finally got around to reading it. It might not have been the greatest book, but the fact that I didn’t have high expectations,and that this followed a disappointing read, might have helped contribute to my enjoyment. One thing I will say, and I’m not sure the author necessarily meant for this to raise questions, but I kept thinking beyond the story once this ended. When I finished the book my mind started to go thinking about all the facts and events . I came to my own hypothetical conclusion and really wonder if I’m right. Guess we will never know, unless the author decides to write another book to fill in gaps my own mind created, I don’t see that happening. Still a sign of a good book is that you keep thinking about it even after it ends. I liked this book and easily give this a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

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