I am not a good candidate for serialisations. I am your classic binge reader – find me something I like and I’ll gorge on it until there is nothing left. I don’t like having to wait. Anticipation is not my friend. I count myself as anticipated out after waiting to find out what happened next in Harry Potter for years at a time from the end of Chamber of Secrets onwards.
I’m writing this on my phone, on a train in the early hours of the morning because I’ve just finished the first part of Harriet Evans new book which I was pre-approved for on Netgalley and I need to know what happens next. Now. Preferably about 10 minutes ago.
Part one of this serialisation has set up a cast of characters designed to captivate, has dangled enough clues about secrets to tantilise and then FOUR sentences from the end dropped a great big enormous bombshell and then left me hanging. To quote one of my favourite TV shows (involving a Miss B Summers of Sunnydale, California) Inquiring minds need to know. And this one needs to know now.
A Place for Us (so far) is the story of three generations of the Winter family who have been summoned to the family home for Martha the matriarch’s 80th birthday party. Previously very close, the family has fractured apart and during part one we get to know them – find out who they are and some of what they’re hiding, and guess at other secrets as yet unrevealed. Then, at the end of Part 1, we find out the bombshell that is about to be dropped at the party (or at least I think we do, unless it’s a masterpiece of misdirection) and your brain starts frantically trying to work out what happens next – and whether this will bring them closer together or send them spiralling further apart – because although this secret is huge, there are lots of other things lurking beneath the surface too.
I’ve read a couple of Harriet Evans’ books before and enjoyed them. She mentions Georgette Heyer (always a good way to my heart) and I like her heroines. This book has so many characters I don’t know who is my favourite yet, but I want to read more so I can decide! (I hope my message is getting through, though I fear it may sound like the deranged rantings of a sleep-deprived woman, it’s not. Honest. I just Need To Know). If the rest of the book lives up to this first part (of FOUR – how am I going to cope with this?!) I believe then it is going to be a great read (and possibly somewhat epically long) and deserves to be gobbled up by fans of Harriet Evans and new readers alike.
It’s Thursday morning and I’ve re-read my rantings from last night before publishing. I don’t think I sound too crazy. I’m hoping I sound enthusiastic and excited about the book rather than plain loopy, although I fear it’s a fine line. But I didn’t want to alter too much of my post – because this was my genuine response to finishing Part One of the book. And it was 1am, on a train, at the end of a 10 hour shift and that sort of sleep-deprived creativity cannot be faked!