Hi and welcome to another Bite Size Saturday! Once again I have two bite-sized reviews for you with similar themes and today those themes are family bonds and adultery, and how the latter is likely to cause casualties, not only emotionally, but sometimes also in a far more lethal way. Ha, I’ll bet that got your attention, didn’t it! Let’s take a closer look, shall we!
The first bite today is Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone.
Fault Lines is set in a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up and produced a volcanic island, The Inch. Protagonist Surtsey is a volcanologist obsessed with The Inch. Surtsey is also having an affair with her married boss Tom… Until she goes to meet him and finds him dead as a doornail. Oops! Death doesn’t stop there, it seems to follow Surtsey around and in the meantime she keeps getting creepy messages on Tom’s clandestine phone that she’s nicked, she’s trying to make the most of the time she has left with her mum who’s terminally ill and she’s trying to reconnect with her sister.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Caroline Guthrie. She has a lovely Scottish accent that regularly made me smile, but she does quite a simple narration, she doesn’t really tweak her voice all that much to accommodate the various characters, which was most noticeable during conversations. Still, I liked it enough to keep listening (I also have the eBook so I could have switched).
Suspenseful, mysterious, but with a heart, recommended!
The second bite is Nobody’s Wife by Laura Pearson.
First of all: thanks to Agora Books and NetGalley for the free eARC.
Nobody’s Wife is set primarily in London and centres around Emily and Josephine: (half-)sisters, flatmates, best friends. The tagline reads: Four people. Three couples. Two sisters. One unforgivable betrayal. For those of you who suck at maths: one sister betrays the other sister by having an affair with said sister’s man, hence: three couples. It’s a tough theme, adultery, especially in this case where it concerns two sisters but there is no judgement from the author, she only reports what’s happening and the reader is free to make up their own mind. I felt so much fatality reading this, I was continuously waiting for the other shoe to drop. While I enjoyed this novel, I had some issues with the characters, especially the adulterous sister: I just couldn’t warm to her. I realise that being in a relationship doesn’t prevent infatuation with someone else, but what matters is how you handle those feelings and I found her very disrespectful towards her sister. While I did feel for her at times, overall I rather disliked her and that made me enjoy the story somewhat less. I also felt a little let down by the ending because I’d made some assumptions based on the prologue but what I was expecting didn’t happen (and I loved the ending I’d imagined more 😂). I did love Laura Pearson’s writing, the way she makes her words flow is stunning.
Overall an okay novel, a rather quick and realistic read that made me ponder relationships and sisterhood. I think other readers may enjoy this way more than I did.
Thanks for reading! Have a lovely Saturday! I’ll be back next week with some music and a couple of blog tour reviews 💜