Niemand verschwindet einfach so – Catherine Lacey

41kxyghnd7L._SX290_BO1,204,203,200_  4 Sterne

Was für ein schwieriges Buch. Aber es hat mich auch an daran erinnert, das Lesen auch bedeutet, in den Kopf und in die Gedankenwelt eines anderen Menschen Einblick zu erhalten. Und das tut man hier zur Genüge.

 

Elyria beschließt für sich, ihren Mann zu verlassen. Aber eigentlich nicht nur ihren Mann, sondern ihr Leben und am liebsten auch sich selber. Auf die wage Einladung eines Menschen, den sie auf einer Party traf, fliegt sie von New York nach Neuseeland. Dort schlägt sie sich irgendwie  zu diesem Ort vor, an dem besagter Mensch lebt. Ihm aber ist sie nach einer Weile zu traurig, denn er kann die Traurigkeit anderer Leute nicht tolerieren. Wahrscheinlich ist sie ihm nur lästig. Ein Besuch, der nicht gehen will, wird irgendwann unangenehm.

 

Das Buch hat wenig Handlung oder gar Narrative. Wir erleben die Dinge durch Elyrias Sicht. Wir sind in ihrem Kopf. Sie will flüchten. Es gibt bei ihr Anzeichen einer Depression oder evtl. sogar einer psychischen Erkrankung, aber das werden wir nie genau herausfinden, denn unsere Sicht ist die durch ihre Augen. Sie will fliehen vor all den Gedanken und Entscheidungen. Vor einigen Jahren verlor sie ihre Adoptivschwester durch Selbstmord  Eigentlich stand sie ihr nicht nahe, sagt Elyria jedenfalls. Aber langfristig hat sie der Tod ihrer Schwester nachhaltig geprägt. Durch diesen Tod hat sie ihren Mann kennengelernt, den sie nur „Ehemann“ nennt. Er war einer der letzten Menschen, die ihre Schwester lebend gesehen haben. So ist ihr gutes Leben in New York dadurch geprägt worden, das ihre Schwester sich umgebracht hat.

 

In Neuseeland lässt sich Elyria treiben. Sie trifft einige merkwürdige Menschen. Während sie per Anhalter reist, halten immer wieder Frauen an, um sie mitzunehmen und sie gleichzeitig vor den Gefahren zu warnen, die dieses Art des Reisens mit sich bringt. Aber Elyria ist es egal. Fast hatte ich das Gefühl, dass sie die Gefahr sucht. Sie schläft in Scheunen und am Strand. Sie ist sich immer bewusst, dass sie als alleinreisende Frau damit ein Risiko eingeht. Aber es ist ihr egal. Sie tut es einfach trotzdem. Sie wirkt losgelöst von der Realität. Alles, was die anderen Menschen, die sie trifft, tun, berührt sie nur am Rande. Sie will vor allem flüchten, aber vor sich selber und ihrer Gedankenwelt kann sie nicht flüchten. Ihre Gedanken drehen und wenden sich, verästeln sich. Ihr Kopf gibt keine Ruhe und lässt sie nicht zur Ruhe kommen.

 

Im ersten Drittel fand ich Elyrias Gedankenwelt amüsant und interessant. Voller anderer Sichtweisen auf die Dinge, so wie ich sie habe. Dann empfand ich es als zunehmend anstrengend, ihren kreisenden Gedanken zu folgen. Auch ihre Starrköpfigkeit war anstrengend. Sie weiß eigentlich, wie sie sich verhalten sollte, was sie tun und sagen sollte. Aber sie handelt komplett anders. Das tut sie im Guten wie im Schlechten. Ihr „inneres Biest“ gibt keine Ruhe. Dieses Biest war für mich ein deutliches Anzeichen, dass Elyria ein psychisches Problem hat. Bezeichnend ist auch, dass sie das Biest erkennt und trotzdem nichts dagegen tun kann oder will. Das Ende ist dann genau wie der Beginn, einfach mittendrin. Es gibt keinen wirklichen Schluss, keine Erlösung. Elyria entlässt uns aus ihrer Gedankenwelt genau so plötzlich, wie sie uns hineingelassen hat.

 

Dies ist auf jeden Fall eines der ungewöhnlichsten Bücher, die ich in letzter Zeit gelesen habe. Hier gab es keine wirkliche Geschichte, sondern wir wurden in die schwierige Gedankenwelt einer Frau hineinversetzt. Catherine Lacey hat ein ungewöhnliches, unglaublich gut geschriebenes und komplexes Buch geschrieben, das aber mit Sicherheit sich nicht für jeden erschließt. Es hat sich auch in weiten Teilen mir nicht erschlossen, aber seine Andersartigkeit im Denken, seien ungewöhnlichen Gedankengänge werden mir in Erinnerung bleiben.

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Yesterday – Felicia Yap

31705535  4 Stars

„Yesterday“ is one of the most unique books I read so far. It is set in an alternate reality where people can remember only for a short time. In this alternate world a murder takes place. There are two different kinds of people: Monos, who could retain just the day before and Duos who have memory of the last two days. Duos think they are superior to Monos. They think they are cleverer and there are jobs which are only given to Duos, although most of the people are Monos. Children and teenager can remember everything, but at a certain age things change and they become Monos or Duos. They start to write diaries. They write down what they think is important to remember and the next day they learn these things. So it gets into their long-term-memory and they remember it. This situation is not really explained in the book. It is just treated as a fact. Reality is like this in this book. It is not a Dystopia; it is just a book which takes place in a different reality. At first I found that very confusing. I was not sure if this could work and how it all worked. I was checking all the time if everything that happened was according to this memory situation. But while I kept reading and the more things developed and got explained I got used to this setting.

I am not going to tell too much about the story itself. I was fascinated by this memory thing. Being a Duo or a Mono divides the society into two classes. There is a lot of discrimination going on. The story about the murder is very complex and told from different POVs. There are many twists and unreliable characters. Writing a diary is a very delicate thing. The characters write to remember their own past. But they choose what they think is necessary to remember. That can also mean that they choose to leave something out so they will forget it. The story is very unique and is told with great earnest. The author adds more and more details. It is a really unusual story with an unusual setting. The thing about the murder could have been a little bit more gripping. The main thing here are the characters and their problems. With their life without remembering important things and without the learning effect they bring. I was not absolutely gripped by the book but it was interesting and I enjoyed reading it.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Drowning Girls – Paula Treick DeBoard

27069952  3 Stars

I am not sure if I liked this book or if I didn’t.

 

What I liked: the author did a very good job in showing who Phil managed himself into so much trouble. He makes one major misjudgment which is followed by a trail of lies. He got tangled in his lies until he finds no way to tell his side of the story any more. It is too late and to messed up. The story is told mostly by Liz but also occasionally by Phil. So we are also close to him and see how this all could happen.

 

What I did not like: the story is really predictable. As soon as I figured out where the story was leading I was almost annoyed. This again. It is no surprise that not everything in The Palms is so picture perfect when you look closer. The people who live there were all very stereotype. I just could not remember who was who. Who was which ones daughter? Or wife? I mixed them all up the whole time. Kelsey, the girl who gets obsessed with Phil, is quite cunning, maybe a little bit too much for a 15 year old girl. She is definitely troubled, but why that is so is never discussed. And Liz. She is a high school counselor. But I doubt that this is the right job for her. F.e. she gave a 14 year old girl, who came to her office for advice concerning birth control, just a leaflet. Shortly after the girl was pregnant. Well done, Liz. I also did not like a lot of things she did when she suspected Liz to be of harm to her family.

 

But the real problem is the ending. I seriously thought that there was something wrong with my ebook. I thought at least one chapter was missing. But obviously this is really the ending. The book just ends. There are still a lot of questions. I don’t have a problem with books with open endings. But this is no open ending. This is an ending in the middle of a chapter. Just a rough cut.

 

It was an easy read but I was happy when it was over. The writing is good but there is a lack of depth to the characters and the story itself. And there is this ending.

Beneath The Surface – Sibel Hodge

516pV7uAdKL 3,5 Stars

3,5 Stars

 

I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the first half very much. But as soon as the main topic began to unfold I lost interest. I don’t like kiss-and-tell-stories. And I was not aware that this book was that kind of book. I expected something else or maybe a different handling of the topic.

 

In the first half we meet Holly. We get to know her and learn about her problems.  I liked reading the book although I was a bit annoyed by everybody telling her she was paranoid and a crazy drunk. But then the story turns into an action thriller. The exposure of the criminal doings of pharmaceutical companies became more important than telling a story. The author did a great job with her research and the topic is shocking and has to be revealed. But it did not work in this book for me. I don’t know how I can explain it. But I think telling this story, revealing everything, became so important for the author that she missed to form it into a harmonic story.

 

I am sorry to say that the book did not work for me. It felt like something was missing. I liked the writing and the first half was very well composed. But then it turned into a kind of story I don’t like to read. If I had known that I would not have requested it from NetGalley. But because this is just me and my personal taste I round it up to 4 stars.

I recieved an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The One – John Marrs

31422849 4,5 Stars

What a unique idea! What if you can find your perfect match by doing a simple mouth swap?  Doing this simple test and paying afterwards for the contact details and you live happily ever after?

 

A scientist found out that you share a special part of your DNA with just one other person on this planet. And this one is your perfect match. Almost immediately after meeting this person you feel the connection and fall in love with them. You just do this little test and the computer finds your other half. It sounds too good to be true. And actually it is. What if you perfect partner is a psychopath? Or the one is of the same sex as you although you were never attracted to the same sex before?

 

At first I was confused to all the characters appearing in alternating chapters. But soon you get to know them and theirs special situation. All of them were informed of their Match recently and all of them have to learn that there is not necessarily a happy ending waiting for them. They all encounter extreme situations. Especially in Jade’s case it is also quite melodramatic. Sometimes a little bit too much. It also shows how this scientific matching alters society. What if you are already in love and think you found your soulmate without taking the test? Everybody in your surrounding expects your relationship to fail because you are not proofed to be the perfect match.

 

There are a lot of interesting ideas in this book. As I mentioned, the situations are extreme and it is a little bit too melodramatic. But it is an easy read with a unusual story. I really enjoyed reading it.

The Child – Fiona Barton

32054095  4 Stars

Fiona Barton returns with her new book after her bestseller „The Widow“. “The Child” is a very complex and elaborated. I was not a huge fan of her first book, I thought it was OK. But she has a talent for creating unique stories with interesting characters. So when I read the blurb of this book, I thought I give it another try.

“The Child” tells a complex story. The skeleton of a baby is found on a construction site. Three women are affected by that. One of them is journalist Kate Waters, who we know already from “The Widow”. She takes an interest in this story and is determined to find out who this baby was. Slowly she untangles a dark and sad story.

I must admit I am still not a huge fan although I enjoyed reading this book. I can’t put my finger on it what it is but something is missing for me. Barton’s writing style is beautiful but maybe a bit aloof. The story is also a slow-burner and goes into every detail. It is a character driven story and the main point is how Kate finds her way through this mystery. Unfortunately I had an idea how everything could be quite early in the book but I discarded it while going on further. But I was right; I figured the end-twist. Usually I am not so clever and I hardly think much about figuring out the end or the killer etc. while reading. So at the end the surprise for me was that my idea was right.

Despite my little nagging about the book I enjoyed reading it. It is an unusual story, the writing is good. It is unique. I like that. I enjoyed “The Child” more than “The Widow” and I am looking forward to her next book.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Last Seen – Lucy Clarke

33260180  4,5 Stars

Sarah and Isla know each other since they were kids. They are still close friends. They got pregnant almost at the same time. Sarah is married to Isla’s ex-lover- Isla is a single mother. Both bought beach huts on the English coastline where they spent their summers. All is perfect until one day the boys went swimming but only Jacob, Sarah’s son, returned. Marley, Isla’s boy, was never found and presumed drowned. Isla is desperate. But despite this happened on this sandbank she returns every year to to visit Sarah and her family and feel close to Marley. She loves remembering how happy her little boy was while they were at the hut. How he played with Jacob. But after a few years she senses little fractions in her friendship to Sarah. It seems as Sarah doesn’t want to share her family any more with Isla.

The book begins after Jacob disappears. He is 17 know and he did not come home after a beach party. Isla just left after the anniversary of Marley’s death. It is obvious that something happened between the two women.

The story is told alternating from Sarah an Islas point of view. We learn that everybody has secrets. Especially one of them has a huge problem with telling the truth. One lie leads to the next and soon there are many layers of lies which build up to a tragedy.

The author did a great job in creating a very atmospheric story. I loved the setting of this English sandbank and the little beach huts. Both women love their huts where they spent so many happy summers with their sons. Especially Isla loves to return to the hut because it reminds her so much of Marley. For me this was a dark and sad story. I felt especially sorry for Isla and poor Marley. Lies are told to protect somebody but mostly to protect oneself. But these lies destroyed two families. A little boy died tragically and another life was ruined.

The characters in this book are very realistic and strong. I felt with both women although I started to despise one of them while reading. It is a complex and clever story but also a slow burner. It is not a fast paced book but it is worth your reading time.

This was my second book from Lucy Clarke but definitely not my last one