Looking for Fiction with a Light Twist?

Thursday, January 28, 2021

 I've been going crazy over Libby lately. If you don't have the app, get it. It connects to your local library account and lets you check out and listen to audiobooks (and digital books) via the app. I love Audible, but when I run out of credits, Libby saves the day! Here are a few good twisted fiction reads I've burned through lately. If you haven't gotten to them yet, do it.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

This is my first Ruth Ware read. Some critics of the book write that it's not that suspenseful and that much of the action happens in the last 30 or so pages. In that, they're not wrong. The premise of this book was interesting enough to keep me turning. Rowan Caine, British 20-something, leaves her life working in a daycare to apply for a nannying job in the Scottish countryside. The moment she arrives, the house becomes as much a character as the others in the book. It's a remodeled manor, modern, and completely digitized. The typical struggles with the nannied children and Agatha-Christie-esque capers ensue, and Ware is left wondering if ghosts are engineering the disasters or if someone is triggering the house to work against her. 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Pick this one up if you don't mind reading young adult fiction. This is another slow burn with a fifth act that wraps quickly. Cadence, the main character, grows up part of a wealthy family that vacations every summer near Cape Cod. She calls her summer group, friends and cousins, the liars and loves their summer life together. As the novel unfolds, it becomes clear that "the liars" are withholding information from Cadence. Something happened, but she doesn't remember. Why doesn't she remember? Lockhart weaves the mystery together in a way that leaves something poignant in the air.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Of the three, this is the most suspenseful and has the wittiest twists. The story is told in alternating points-of-view between Alicia Berenson, an artist, and Theo Faber, a therapist. Theo first encounters Alicia as she is his . . . "silent patient" in an institution. The reason for Alicia's silence and the motivations of Faber's therapies all come to light through the characters' own voices. That's all I can say without giving it away! Critics of this novel generally tear down the quality of Michaelides' dialogue and prose, but every book has strengths and weaknesses. I found plot and character development strong enough to carry the story and didn't hit pause until it was done. Some critics find satisfaction in being "the one" to point out a flaw in a runaway bestseller.

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