“It’s the worst kind of person who goes back on a promise, even one they made to themselves.” – Claire Fuller.
I received a digital copy of this book through NetGalley to read and review giving my honest opinions.
Peggy is eight years old when her father takes her away from her home in London to go and live in a cabin in a forest, far from civilisation. Here, Peggy spends the next nine years surviving the best she can with her father’s guidance, believing that that her and her father are the only two people left in existence. After nine years she finally returns home and we learn about the events that took place in the forest…
Reading this book I did find Fuller’s writing somewhat enjoyable. However, I cannot hide the fact that I wasn’t particularly keen on the plot; I found it really dragged and I couldn’t really see where it was going and as a result it turned into a slow read since I had spent a week putting off reading it. That was until the last twenty percent of the book anyway, when I did get a little more hooked into the book and could see something was happening, also at this point the ending was in sight.
Overall, this book is okay. I didn’t overly enjoy it, but I don’t want this review to sound really negative, so I do want to go into what I liked about it.
Firstly, there are the characters. I feel that they were all written very well, especially Peggy from whose perspective this book is written. Throughout the book Peggy sounds like she hasn’t really grown despite years passing, but I feel that it is important to remember that she has been isolated from society and therefore she does lack knowledge in some areas. Another important character in this book is Peggy’s father and while I can’t say I am keen on him, I cannot deny that the character was really brought to life and I don’t think it’s one I will easily forget.
However, while on the subject of the characters I do feel like some were quite flat. At the end of the book we found out a secret Peggy’s mother has been hiding and because of events that had occurred earlier on in the book, this reveal didn’t sit well with me because I didn’t feel that it matched up well to the character. Unfortunately, I won’t go into more detail about this because I don’t want to mention any spoilers, but drop me an email and I’ll happily discuss this book further.
Secondly, another aspect of the book I enjoyed to an extent was the detail. Fuller clearly fully researched survival and while I appreciate how valid her descriptions are, the length of them are arguably excessive and not entirely relevant to the plot.
Furthermore, I don’t feel that the descriptive level of this work is maintained since there were so many explanations for some things up until the ending. In fact, I think that the reason I found I got through the latter part of the book quickly is because the ending came sooner than expected and still left me with questions. As a result of this, I don’t feel that the ending was fully explained to match other scenarios in the book and as a result it was a rather unsatisfying ending, despite the naivety of our main character.
Goodreads have a five star rating system which I use to rate all the books I read so that my ratings both on my blog and on my Goodreads account (which will be linked to below) are consistent. As a result of this, I have rated this book 2/5 which translates to ‘it was okay’. This book didn’t exactly surprise, nor did it really keep me interested, although I did like the writing and characterisation.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?