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Trick or Treat by Lesley Glaister
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Trick or Treat

by Lesley Glaister

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Trick or Treat by Lesley Glaister

This is a compact psychological thriller about Olive and Nell, who have lived their entire lives separated by one house, but who can't stand one another and have ignored each other for years. Olive was once a beauty, and lived her life unconventionally, refusing to marry her life-long lover Arthur. Now she is morbidly obese and senile, and is cared for by Arthur as he would care for a child. Nell, on the other hand, is trim, and keeps a perfect house. She does have a few problems though, like her fortyish son Rodney, who has just returned from "away" where he was sent for "indiscretions" unnamed, but of which he must have been cured since he's back, right?

As the novel opens, a hugely pregnant woman and her three children have moved into the house in between Olive and Nell. Wolfe, the eight year old youngest child, sensitive and lonely, invites Nell and Rodney and Olive and Arthur to his Guy Fawkes party. For the rest of the book, impending tragedy looms, and it ultimately occurs. Just not the one I was expecting.

This was a wicked good book. For fans of Shirley Jackson.

3 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Aug 7, 2015 |
The dark side of the English village cozy. Glaister is the anti- Angela Thirkell. Worth a read.
  SomeGuyInVirginia | Dec 23, 2010 |
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Something is buried deep in a northern English town in this novel of secrets, friendship, and long-simmering rivalries Former activists Olive and Arthur have been together for decades. They never married-they don't believe in it. Now obese, Olive is given to violent mood swings, while Arthur tenderly watches over her. Widowhood suits Nell, who has lived here for fifty years. She has her pension and her house but misses her husband, Jim. And now the bane of her existence-her ex-con son, Rodney-has come home. Between the adjoining houses, eight-year-old Wolfe lives with his family. Petra, his mother, who dreamed about a wolf while carrying him, is pregnant with her fourth child. Wolfe misses the commune where they used to live. He hates Halloween-and with good reason. The advent of trick or treat will set tempers flaring across this remote pocket of urban grit and stunted industrial growth. As Wolfe starts to uncover his neighbors' secrets, long-held jealousies and rivalries explode in a shattering act of violence that will reverberate through all of their lives.… (more)

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