Thursday, 16 August 2018

Book Review - Little Eve

  • Title And Author: Little Eve by Catriona Ward
  • Publisher: W&N (Orion)
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical 
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted at Bloggers Event by Orion & Sarah from Feeling Fictional
  • Length: 288 Pages
Like I said a few weeks back (before I decided to go on my Blog Holiday due to real life stuff/House move!), I went to #OrionBloggerBrunch and when I was there, I somehow got my hands on a copy of Little Eve by Catriona Ward. You can blame/thank Sarah from Feeling Ficitional for that as this wouldn’t be my typical Pick Up and Read. Yes, I like creepy thriller/crime, but I’m like more modern setting whereas this is set past First World War and tackles cults and other themes that I usually avoid. 

But because Sarah gave me her copy, I feel the need to read it. I think, due to the stress of real life/house move and me reading a lot of YA recently, I felt the need to read something more grown-up (don’t worry, I will juggle much better between reading adult and teen in future) and having this book made me go “Let’s try this out!” 

On a cold January morning in 1921, a young man goes to the island of Altnaharra with an order of beef. The family who live on the island are strange, and that’s putting it lightly. But when he gets there, he discovers a horrible sight. The family all dead, their eyes plucked out, bar one young woman who is alive and only has one eye. Dinah claims that it was her sister, Eve, who killed her family, driven by her religious freneticism. 

But as the story moves forward, we hear accounts from Eve’s point of view, years before the event happen, and from Dinah who is remembering that terrible night and the events that follow. But the two accounts intertwine and contradict. One woman is telling the truth, the other is not. Who can be trusted and what really on the island?

This is much creepier that I was expecting. And that works for me. After reading the first few pages, I had this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach where I felt uneasy about the story, and the uneasy was with both Eve’s and Dinah’s account. The uneasy with Eve as we knew where the book was going to go and the uneasy for Dinah who escaped and yet, even then, that uneasy of not sure on who’s version of events I was meant to believe. 

And because of the gothic creepiness, I had to slow my reading down, and that helped a lot. As you know, I read quite fast (well, for me, reading a book in two weeks is fast), and for a book of this size, I should have hammered it out super fast, but I had to slow my reading down due to the gothic creep factor. 

Plus, I think I was reading this at the wrong time of year. To me, this is a book you should read in the heart of autumn or winter, when the dark nights draw in and you should read by candlelight. Due to that, this book had elements of a book I audiobooked and another book I started by never finished (I might try again one day) due to its tone/feeling - The Woman in Black by Susan Hill and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. This book that elements of these two put in with a twist of mystery and I’m on board with that. 

This book does tackle issues such as cults, self-delusion, faith and other elements and, while I liked reading these (like I said before, I don’t normally like reading books about cults and I usually avoid), this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not a mystery book like I thought it was going to be, but more foreboding look at human condition. 

I am going to say that there were things in here I didn’t warm to exactly, but I wonder if that’s because this book is so outside my comfort zone, I didn’t know what to expect and sometimes, that’s the best. The only thing that niggles is one of the reveals, I kinda wish there was more of a punch to it. 

But barring that, I did like it! I’m not sure if I will read the author’s debut, Rawblood, as it’s more horror (I’m not big on horror books!), but I am intrigued to see what Catriona Ward writes next… 

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