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Sunday, October 1, 2017

REVIEW: The Visitors by Catherine Burns

The Visitors
by Catherine Burns
Gallery Books

🔥 Available NOW 🔥

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn't the only one with a dark side.

My Review:

Marion is a mousy girl who has always been told she's not pretty, that she will grow old alone and is ostracized by not only her mother, but the town that she lives in too.  From childhood to adulthood, she has secluded herself so as not to disappoint and not to be ridiculed by those around her.  Her older brother, John, while also oppressing and abusive, is the only one who actually will stand up for her.  When he dies, she has to go to the cellar and take care of the secrets he's been hiding.

Again, this is the type of book that I'm torn on.  While I loved the writing and the character study, I just couldn't get into the story line.  This is a character driven book through and through.  Told straight through Marion's view point, the author does and outstanding job of putting you into her mind.  As a reader, you feel for Marion, while also getting extremely frustrated with her.  You understand why she acts out at times and you want to lash out at her mother and those who treat her like a piece of shit.  You also see the sinister side in her and question whether this is a nature vs nurture kind of thing - which always fascinates me.

The issues that I had were that it just ran too slow for me.  I found myself putting this down with no desire to pick it back up.  I couldn't concentrate on the chapters and felt my mind floating off into outer space a lot.  I didn't like the emails interspersed throughout the book.  Towards the end of the book I understood why they were included, but I found them more annoying than anything else.

At the end of the day, I think this is just a reader/book mismatch.  It's great for what it is supposed to be... it just didn't quite hit home with me at this time.  Anyone who likes character driven studies into the mind of a reclusive sociopath, definitely give this one a go.  And try to stay out of the cellar.

★★ 1/2

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