Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Little Night by Luanne Rice

I didn't know what to expect when I requested this book. It's supposed to be a family drama, but I didn't know what type (If you want a brief long introduction to family drama, watch the Taiwanese series Ai (Love)). But basically, Little Night examines the relationships between sisters and mother-daughter.

While trying to protect her sister Anne from her abusive husband, Clare hit him and got sent to jail for two years. This more-or-less broke the ties between them since Anne lied on the stand for her husband. But one day, Anne's daughter Grit appears on Clare's doorstep all of a sudden, and well, everything collides.

I found this story really heartbreaking. The two sisters didn't intentionally severe ties, it was all caused by Anne's husband, who emotionally and I think physically abused her. Basically, the book explores the effects of domestic violence on the relationship between female members of the family. It's not as clinical as I make it sound, but it's heartbreaking because while I was hoping for a happy ending, I could see that it wasn't going to happen (and it didn't).

As for the characters, I think they were wonderful. I have nothing more to say about it, except that I thought it was realistic.

The plot was interesting. It shifted between the incident in the past, the present, Clare and Grit's point of view and Anne's journals/website. In this way, I kinda knew more than the characters, but that actually served to increase the "tension". Because I knew more, I wanted the characters to behave a certain way but since they only knew what they knew, their actions and my expectations diverged.

Plus, in Anne's case, the release of information was well timed. Because it's linked to when Clare/Grit reads her diaries, we only get her point of view at very selective stages - and a lot of it is about the past. There was another plot device that managed to delay releasing information from her website even though the reader knows it exists.

In conclusion, this is a good book. I think it was sensitively written, and I enjoyed reading it very much. Most of the plots were fully explored so yay!

Disclaimer: I got this book free from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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