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Dark and deeply unsettling...
Gabrielle's quiet world is turned upside down when she meets and befriends Simon – young, attractive, a would-be writer, and enthusiastic fan of the astonishing novel that Gabrielle published all those years ago. Charmed and flattered, she recklessly invites him into her home and her heart. But Simon is mysterious and manipulative, and it's not long before he forces Gabrielle to confront the demons in her past.
Gabrielle's obsession threatens to destroy her carefully cultivated life, and she feels increasingly threatened by Simon’s presence. Who is he? Why did he seek her out? And what does he really want?
"I had to read on, I had to know what was going to happen. I was inside Gabrielle’s head, saw everything through her eyes and I felt her every emotion. It is dark and it is deeply unsettling."
- Emma R.
Literary gifts for fans of Helen Kitson's The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson.
The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson by Helen Kitson is small-town gossip in novel form, where the truth is a lie, and even the liars don’t know the truth. A post-modern story of the sort of personal intrigue that can only happen to real people, brilliantly written, hard to categorise, and cleverly devised.
I really enjoyed this book, despite my dislike of the main characters, which goes to show how unique a writing-voice the author had.
I read this in one day, when I was supposed to be doing other things, but I found myself often cutting my duties short just so I could read on. It’s engaging and more-ish. The best thing for me about this book was that the ending did not feel rushed at all. I was slightly worried when I could feel there weren’t many pages left, but it felt complete upon closing it, and not the usual rushing. There were lots of different layers to this book, and one that I found myself analysing, which in turn actually fits with the book itself. I’m very intrigued as to what this would be like on a re-read, so I’ll be picking it up again as soon as possible.
There's a strong thread about the destructive power of secrets and guilt - the latter also an indulgence. This is to name but a few of the themes and motifs - others include the necessity of both truth and harmless lies, depression and isolation, the insidious desire to compare ourselves with others and occasionally live vicariously.
The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson by Helen Kitson is a post-modern tale of friendship and fate, where the truth is only a simulacrum of itself. It's probably literary, but it's far more accessible than that suggests.Kevin Beynon
When an attractive, mysterious and manipulative young man charms his way into Gabrielle’s deliberately innocuous life, she is forced to examine some of her greatest regrets. True to her character, she does so by omitting some.Kevin Beynon
This warm-hearted tale explores marriage, love, and longing, set against the majestic backdrop of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells, and the faded splendour of the Midland Hotel.
Rags Whistledown lands on her dad’s doorstep with just her suitcase, guitar and debts for company. But a chance encounter draws her into a murder mystery she must solve.
Xiao Xiao dreams an ominous dream of a terrible creature, the Nian. Half lion, half dragon, half everything, it threatens all she loves.
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