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Liz Loves Books.Com.

Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere.  All views my own. Mostly.

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Peter Newman
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The Girl Who Wasnt There - Review

The Girl Who Wasn't There - Ferdinand von Schirach, Anthea Bell

I'm going to struggle to review this one because I really liked it but it drove me beautifully mad. And if you want me to lay out the reasons for why I liked it I'll be hard pressed to do so.

The story is a straightforward family drama really. The first half deals with a boy who has a difficult childhood and grows up to be a photographer/artist whose strangeness is, well strange. Actually this whole book has a strange feeling about it - a kind of weird "other" vibe all the way through.

Then the second half of the book turns into a legal drama come murder mystery. Kind of. Difficult to say much else without spoilers. And really up until that point not a lot happens at any kind of pace and yet it is so compelling that you keep turning the pages anyway.

After that point things fairly rocket along to the end - an end that had me re-thinking everything that had gone before it. Not because it was a complicated solution but because it was a simple one. The author has themes of reality and perception running through the narrative that resolve themselves ultimately in a rather erm strange way.

Yes ok I've used the word strange a lot. But that was how it struck me. It is a tale of two halves, the first being fairly slow yet gripping the second being darkly humerous (the poor lawyer who ends up with the case, not sure he'll ever be the same again)and perhaps even more intriguing.

Would I recommend it? Yes. But I seriously can't tell you if you'll love it or not. Whether you do or don't it is a clever little tale. One that I think will stay with me.