Wednesday, 24 July 2013
The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White
Betty Gardiner dies and Nowell Gardiner, her grandson, returns to prepare the house for sale. Later Vivian, his wife, joins him as do his brother and his future wife. A girl is found dead in the woods and there are mysterious neighbours roaming the woods as well. The death is ruled an accident but Vivian can't so easily put it to one side and as she cleans and organises the house other secrets start to bubble to the surface.
I very quickly found myself drawn into the story and the characters, most of whom contained contradictions but those contradictions were entirely within character. I was drawn into reading but also found myself trying to second guess the plot - something that spoiled the book for me a little but I am sure that that was just me.
One thing I couldn't reconcile though was the ending. It felt rushed - contrived - a little like a French Farce with doors opening on all sides of the stage and characters coming on to share their secrets. Once again, I am sure that was me and on the whole the story was addictive and haunting and had a happy ending. Or was it sad? You decide.
The copy I have says that it is available in paperback on 25th July 2013 although I am struggling to see it on sale anywhere except in eBook format.
Publisher - The Friday Project
Genre - Adult literary fiction