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Heartstones by Ruth Rendell
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Heartstones (1987)

by Ruth Rendell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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184296,442 (3.59)6
  1. 10
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (isabelx)
    isabelx: because they reminded me of each other.
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» See also 6 mentions

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Ruth Rendell is a master at developing the strangest, but totally believable family drama situations from compelling and believable characters. This story features an anorexic, serial killer teenager who has an unhealthy love interest in her father. She eventually grows out the anorexia, as well as the crush, but there are a number of bodies left in her wake. Did she really kill these people? Twisty to the end, Heartstones is a short, sweet read, almost like a bedtime story for those with a wickedly dysfunctional appetite. ( )
  blockbuster1994 | Apr 23, 2012 |
I was three when she was born and remember with perfect clarity being told I was to have a little brother or sister to play with. This was the way my mother put it to me and I believed her, as what child would not.
The reality is a baby the older sibling is forbidden to touch, for how would the elder one choose to 'play' with the interloper, the thief of a parent's love? By beating it to death, by stamping on its face, by taking the feeble wriggling body to the river and watching the current carry it away downstream. Those are the games to play with a new brother or sister - if the opportunity is given.


A few months ago I read "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson and it reminded me of this book, so when I saw it on the table at today's meet-up I decided that it was time for a re-read.

And since it's only 77 pages long, I managed to read the whole thing on the train home. It's just as good as I remembered, and more like one of her Barbara Vine books really, since it's a dark and twisted tale rather than a detective story.

I've also seen an adaptation of this book on TV, with Emily Mortimer as Elvira, which I'd recommend if it's ever shown again. ( )
  isabelx | Aug 8, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruth Rendellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Caramella, MarisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345348001, Mass Market Paperback)

Sixteen-year-old Elvira's mother is dead. Elvira is sad, of course, but not so sad as her younger sister Spinny. Spinny is afraid their father, Luke, will be heartbroken, but Elvira knows better -- after all, Luke has her to take her mother's place. But then Luke brings home a pretty young woman and introduces her as his fiancee, and Elvira decides that she will stop at nothing to stop her father's marriage . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:28 -0400)

In a college town two schoolgirls live with their widowed father Luke, who is a gentle, well-educated man, meticulous and orderly. He plans to remarry, he has chosen Mary Leonard, another academic, who threatens to supplant the girls in their father's affections. Then Mary falls to her death. It wasn't an accident.… (more)

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