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As She Left It by Catriona McPherson
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As She Left It

by Catriona McPherson

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736242,397 (3.6)2

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Labyrinthine with lots of twists.

Synopsis (from book's back cover): ( )
  KateBaxter | Aug 5, 2017 |
More reviews on my blog

This is an astonishing work of fiction.

It's so good it's almost impossible to talk about it without reverting to advertising-type nonsense. Spellbinding, disturbing, emotionall devastating. There, that's my urges in that direction dealt with.

It's the prose that really gets you. It is perfect for the book - imaginative and descriptive, using the language that the main character would have available to use. Good prose is very difficult to talk about - it can be tricky to describe exactly why it had the effect it did, because it is so perfect for the story that you barely notice the spell its weaving.

I believed utterly in the world. The grim council estates of Leeds felt familiar enough to the grim council estate I grew up in to believe it utterly. The lagnuage the characters used was spot-on, and the way McPherson wrote around the secrets and tragedies clearly showed that she knows her craft.

The plot does rely a little over-much on coincidence to help the main character along- a number of useful things just happen around her and it almost destroys the suspension of disbelief you've got going on. But that's a minor flaw in a book I found so engrossing I read it in one sitting.

another 5, people.

Provided free by Midnight Ink through NetGalley. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
More reviews on my blog

This is an astonishing work of fiction.

It's so good it's almost impossible to talk about it without reverting to advertising-type nonsense. Spellbinding, disturbing, emotionall devastating. There, that's my urges in that direction dealt with.

It's the prose that really gets you. It is perfect for the book - imaginative and descriptive, using the language that the main character would have available to use. Good prose is very difficult to talk about - it can be tricky to describe exactly why it had the effect it did, because it is so perfect for the story that you barely notice the spell its weaving.

I believed utterly in the world. The grim council estates of Leeds felt familiar enough to the grim council estate I grew up in to believe it utterly. The lagnuage the characters used was spot-on, and the way McPherson wrote around the secrets and tragedies clearly showed that she knows her craft.

The plot does rely a little over-much on coincidence to help the main character along- a number of useful things just happen around her and it almost destroys the suspension of disbelief you've got going on. But that's a minor flaw in a book I found so engrossing I read it in one sitting.

another 5, people.

Provided free by Midnight Ink through NetGalley. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
Opal has not returned to her childhood home since she was 12 years old and escaped her alcoholic mother to live with her dad and evil stepmother. Now 25, and coming off a bad relationship, she is looking to jumpstart her life. Everything seems to be going in her favor when she receives word that she’s inherited her childhood home after her mother’s death.

Read the rest on my book review blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/as-she-left-it-catriona-mcphe... ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
By: Catriona McPherson
Published By: Midnight Ink
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 4
Book Blog For: GMTA
Review:

"As She Left It" by Catriona McPherson was a drama with good mystery thriller read, that once you got into the story it was hard to put down. We find that Opal Jones has come back to claim her childhood home that is located on 'Mote Street after the death of her mother from alcoholism. A part of this mystery was that "On Mote Street, a heavy sorrow hangs over every house, threatening to choke whatever threads of humanity are left" due to the fact that a young boy disappeared and was never found around the same time that Opal left town. The irony of it all is that many of the people still lived on 'Mote street.' Opal will come involved with trying to find out what had happened to this child. This is where I say you must pick up this read "As She Left It" to see what all is going on 'Mote Street. There will be many twist and turns along with some deep secrets that will be revealed. I found of the characters were somewhat developed, pathetic, charming, deceitful and even guilty in the search of the truth of it all. I did like out this author was able to show a neighborhood where even though was affected by this child's disappearance and everyone knew every one's business for the most part they kept quite. What will Opal turn up from her search of the truth...who is guilty of what? Maybe this has something to do with my Opal ran away in the first place. What a neighborhood!

If you are interested in a good mystery thriller read then I would recommend "As She Left It" to you as a good read. ( )
  arlenadean | Jun 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
In a cottage in a wood,

A little old man by a window stood,
Saw a rabbit running by
Knocking at his door.
"Help me! Help me!" the rabbit said,
"Or the farmer will shoot me dead."
"Come little rabbit, come with me.
Happy we shall be."
—Traditional children's song
The outhouse, the outhouse,
The hold your nose and shout house.
Grab thee by the lug-hole,
Put thee down the plug-hole.
Grab thee by thy left hand,
Put thee down the muck pan.
Pull the chain, pull the chain,
Wash back up again.
The outhouse, the outhouse,
The hold your nose and shout house.
—Children's skipping song
Dedication
For Diane Nelson, with love and thanks and no apologies, because you're not superstitious.
First words
There's a line on the yard wall that shows where the outhouse used to be. (Prologue)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738736775, Paperback)

Untangling the shame and sorrow on Mote Street

At the age of twelve, Opal Jones escaped her mother’s endless drinking and her life in Leeds, England. Returning to the small cottage on Mote Street after her mum’s death is like going back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle (the better to spy) and Fishbo, Opal’s ancient music teacher, is still playing trumpet. Then, Opal learns about a tragedy the neighborhood has never recovered from: the disappearance of three-year-old Craig Southgate. The sweet, red-haired child Opal once knew was kidnapped — and never seen again.

At first, unraveling the decade-old mystery is a fine distraction from Opal’s own ugly past. But teasing out her neighbors’ dark secrets begins dredging up uncomfortable memories of her own childhood - and a growing suspicion about little Craig's fate.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:18 -0400)

When she was twelve years old, Opal Jones escaped her mother's endless drinking. Now, returning to their small Leeds cottage after her mum's death, Opal feels like she's gone back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle. Fishbo, Opal's ancient music teacher, still plays trumpet with his band. And much to Opal's delight, her favorite neighbor, Margaret Reid, still keeps an eye on things from the walk in front of her house. But a tragedy has struck Mote Street. Margaret's grandson, Craig, disappeared some ten years ago, and every day he's not found, shame and sorrow settle deeper into the neighborhood's forgotten corners. As the door she closed on her own dark past begins to open, Opal uncovers more secrets than she can bear about the people who were once her friends.--From back cover.… (more)

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