Monday, 11 January 2016

Pretty is - Maggie Mitchell - Pretty good

My thoughts

Another fascinating debut novel, this time from emerging US author Maggie Mitchell.

Imagine if you were a survivor of an abduction when you were 12 years old. Imagine if you were not the only victim of this seemingly random kidnapping. How do you think it would affect you? Would you spend the rest of your life looking for something, would it bond you to the other victim or ensure you despised them?

This novel looks at the aftermath of child abduction from the survivors points of view. 2 little girls, solitary, bookish Lois and Barbie doll beauty Carly May. Taken by car to a remote cabin in the woods where they are held captive for 6 weeks, this is the story of then and afterwards when both have changed their names, got on with their lives and made a success of their careers. But is it in spite of their ordeal or because of it?

It was a strangely chaste and pointless abduction, the reason behind which, I kept waiting for it to come to light and in this it failed me.

Yet the story kept me reading because of the strengths and believeability of the 2 girls both at age 12 and now aged nearly 30. Its an attention grabbing subject handled well and an excellent, unusual read.

The psychological aspect of the story focusses on how this one event shapes both womens lives and not on the abductor about whom I longed to know more.

It's a story which grabs your attention then keeps you reading, although I must admit personally I felt rather let down by the ending.

Recommended to lovers of the human psyche and how events affect people years later but don't expect a gritty thriller, although there is a slightly stalkerish sideline and it keeps you wondering what is going to happen, there is no sudden reveal, twist in the tail or really an OMG shock factor ending, it's nevertheless thought provoking and enjoyable.

I received my copy in advance of publication via Netgalley to read and review.
You can order yours from Amazon or your favourite bookshop.

The publishers blurb

Lois and Carly-May were just twelve when they were abducted by a stranger and imprisoned in a cabin in the woods for two months.

That summer, under the watchful gaze of their kidnapper, they formed a bond that would never be broken.

Decades later, both women have new lives and identities. But the events of that summer are about to come back with a vengeance.

Lois and Carly-May must face the truth about their secret, shared past...

What really happened in the woods that summer?

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