I don’t believe it’s unfair to say that for some people books take them on a journey. Usually it’s because a character or situation really speaks to them, but Renee Knight’s début novel took me on a journey for an entirely different reason.
After moving house, Catherine Ravenscroft finds a book she doesn’t recognise on her night stand. Not thinking anything of it, after all house moves are a bit stressful, she begins to read. But as she does she starts to recognise herself, and a realises someone has found out a secret she’s tried her hardest to keep hidden, and worst of all they’ve put it down in print for the world to see.
It looked like a really interesting read, but when I started I was a little disappointed, so much so that I actually put it down and read something else. However, not wanting to leave it unfinished I picked it back up again and continued reading. This time I managed to finish it.
The story itself it’s actually quite good- when I got to the end I appreciated how clever Knight had been with her characters because she shows brilliantly how the human mind works when it comes to dealing with moments or events that are hard to face. What I wasn’t so impressed with was her execution. For me, the story dragged in some places, particularly at the beginning when I felt Knight left Catherine in panic mode for far too many chapters while her other narrative strand caught up; hence why I put the book down.
Once the strands were level, the story progressed much better, but while the book managed to draw me in, it wasn’t because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened, but because I was so infuriated by the characters and their behaviour that I wanted them to admit that they were wrong. In truth, although as I’ve said Knight was clever when creating them, while I was reading the book I grew so annoyed with the characters that I actually started yelling at them, and by the end of the book I think I disliked them all in some way or another. While my frustration drove me on, I know for others it will force them to put the book down.
Disclaimer is a book with a brilliant premise, and underneath the surface there is a truly interesting story. But before you begin the question you must ask is will you be able to push yourself through the narrative to reach the end?