“On a street in a town in the North of England, perfectly ordinary people are doing totally normal things – children play cricket, window-frames are painted, a couple argues, students pack up their belongings, and nameless people pass each other like every other day, interweaving yet never connecting. But a terrible event shatters the quiet of the summer evening and no one who witnesses it will ever be the same again.”
(This was the last book I grabbed on my latest trip to a charity shop for my reading challenge).
This book was written in a very interesting way; for the majority of the time, it was 3rd person narrative and so was following different characters all at once. At the beginning, there were a beautiful few pages of setting the scene, and the prose was almost poetic. The hypnotic language of the opening gave way to the subtle entrance of people; nameless characters. There was a story parallel to that of the events taking place on the ordinary street, of a girl/young woman who discovers something shocking and daunting.
The book is split (without chapters or headings or any sort) between what I assume is the present (the young woman) and the past (the fateful day on the street). The way it’s structured is fascinating, it seemed to me like memories straight out of someone’s head as the sections all ran smoothly into each other.
The entire novel was a huge build up of suspense right up to the pivotal moment at the end. If possible, the suspense seemed to accelerate and intensify as the book headed towards the ‘terrible event’ and Mcgregor seamlessly squeezed the tension and stretched it out right until the last moment. The language was incredibly effective and lead to a great page turner.
It was an interesting read; unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I would recommend this book on the basis that the language was beautifully enthralling and the book had a great ending. I found my mind occasionally wandering in places, but most of the time (and especially towards the finish line) I couldn’t keep my eyes off the page.