I’m a back alley person. Where does this lead? Where will I pop out at? What will I see along the way? Okay I’m heading in.
So for me this story had back alleys. Side stories to explore, characters weaved in and out giving us glimpses of the main story. Enough glimpses to push the main story along but not give out too much information too fast.
Even in the beginning few pages I wasn’t sure exactly why she was there? Back alley to head down. In Chapter One a young woman (modern-day) finds a picture and sketch book which leads her on a journey. This is one side story. Elodie’ journey. She gives the momentum for the main story and other side stories.
The side stories were interesting and we get background stories for each character – almost mini short stories. They range across time from late 1800s to current day. Taking us through World War I and World War II and the destruction on lives both these massive events left. I enjoyed how a few stories intersected through a glance or interview. I wonder if that was…… she saw.
The main story (or what I considered the main story) the woman living in the house is the mystery. Who is she? Why is she here? What happened to her? She narrates throughout the novel as people come in and out of the house. These are the side stories. How she connects with them while they are in the house. Through this we glimpse more of her story line and theirs.
Her interactions with the side characters all take place in the house which is an important element. Can we be drawn to a specific place? Can it become part of who we are? Can we forgive? Forget? Can we be open to different possibilities? These are weaved through the story.
If you are looking for a light feel good read. This isn’t it. Parts are sad and it shows that life isn’t easy and often bad things happen to good people.
You can always start now!