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The Wych Elm by Tana French
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The Wych Elm (2018)

by Tana French

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9978013,300 (3.59)79
"A brilliant new work of suspense from "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years." (Washington Post) From the writer who "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker) and has been called "incandescent" by Stephen King, "absolutely mesmerizing" by Gillian Flynn, and "unputdownable" (People), comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out. Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are"--… (more)
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English (77)  German (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
3.5 Stars“The thing is, I suppose,” he said, “that one gets into the habit of being oneself. It takes some great upheaval to crack that shell and force us to discover what else might be underneath”I’m a bit torn. I thought the first few hours of the story was a little slow, but I really enjoyed the majority of the middle, before unfortunately thinking the ending dropped the ball. Like I said, torn. But overall, I did enjoy it. The Witch Elm follows charmer Toby as he retreats to his family home, The Ivy House to care for a sick uncle, after a nasty burglary leaves him with lapses in his memory. When a skull is found in the backyard, Toby must confront himself as he tries to piece together who he was, what he was capable of, and who he is now.

I really loved the family aspect of the story and thought there was a lot of great characters. I liked Toby for most of the story, I really loved Hugo and Melissa as well. Leon was super annoying though and some of the narration voices for the different characters was off putting. The stuff about Toby’s burglary was my least favorite (which was the beginning and the end). But I thought the skull and Ivy House part was great. I almost wish the last few chapters were cut. It would have been an open ending to some of Toby’s problems, but it would have still worked for me.

I am definitely planning on reading more from Tana French in the future. And I think I’ll probably enjoy them too, especially because most think this is one of her weaker books, and I still enjoyed it. The Witch Elm is a story about self reflection that asks, Do you know what you’re capable of?
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  LifeofaLiteraryNerd | Oct 9, 2019 |
Some good twists. A bit long and in the end repetitive. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Oct 6, 2019 |
I was bored with this book and I did not finish it I hope to try again someday ( )
  basilsbooks | Oct 1, 2019 |
The plot is is good, if a bit tedious. It seems to take a long time to get to the meat of the story. The author exposes every little nuance of the main character, which is both good and not so good. He is very complex (more so than he even realizes), but not someone you feel very sympathetic toward.

The main reason for this not being five stars is the ending. I think the book went on about fifty page longer than is should have. I won't go into details, as I don't want to spoil the story, but I think anyone who reads the book will understand my point, weather of not they agree. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 26, 2019 |
French is very wordy, but somehow that really helped building this mystery. The story is very atmospheric with a wonderful skew, but it lost me halfway through chapter 12. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Aug 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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