Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Nightingale's Nest - Book Review

The Nightingale's Nest by Sarah Harrison

What is it about:
Left a young widow by the Great War, Pamela accepts employment as amanuensis to the Jarvises, a charmingly eccentric couple whose elegant Highgate house is a mecca for artists. She is particularly drawn to the work of a young woman, Suzannah Murchie, whose powerful portraits adorn the Jarvises’ walls, and to the subject of one of the portraits, John Ashe.
Ashe is a man of contradictions– handsome, but horribly disfigured; ruthless, but charitable; wealthy, but secretive. When she agrees to work for him, Pamela is only half aware that she is entering into a pact with the devil.
For Ashe has gained wealth and influence by preying on the weaknesses of others, and although Pamela keeps her distance from his activities, she cannot avoid being tainted by them.

What did I think of it:
I'm having very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it's very well written, there are some very interesting characters and the story is also very intriguing. Then on the other hand...... there's Pamela.

Pamela was accusing people of things and condemning them for it while she was doing those things herself as well. An in other things she had a very twisted view on the world as well. I got the feeling the people she interacted with were not how she saw them and I really wanted to see things from another viewpoint to get a beter grip on them. All in all I read this book totally engrossed in the story but still feeling some disgust for it which turned out to be directed at Pamela when I tried to pinpoint my feelings of dislike.

So I would both recommend this book as speak out against it as it was a very mixed up read for me.

Why should you read it:
Read this book if you're looking for intriguing characters with a dark edge to them. Don't read it if you want to like the main character.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's hard for me to like a book if I don't like the main character, but there have been many books where liking the main character doesn't matter. I'll have to give this book some thought, but it sounds good.

vvb32 reads said...

probably would be hard for me to read as i like to like the main character, too. i like the cover though. the green color pops.