Tag Archives: novel

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Death Of Mrs. Westaway Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Death Of Mrs. Westaway Edition

Helloooo everyone! I recently just finished the fifth book out right now by Ruth Ware called The Death Of Mrs. Westaway. I, for the most part, have had a very positive experience with this author. Though there were a few books like The Woman In Cabin 10 and In A Dark Dark Wood that I wasn’t wild about, I highly enjoyed The Turn Of The Key and The Lying Game. Unfortunately, The Death Of Mrs. Westaway was a big miss for me with the grand reveal so, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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The Death Of Mrs. Westaway revolves around twenty-one year old Harriet AKA Hal, a tarot card reader who runs a small stand on Brighton Pier. She inherited the shop from her mother after she was killed in a car accident and needed to take up shop immediately to try to make ends meet. Young, broke, orphaned (she doesn’t know who her father is), and owing money to a dangerous loan shark Hal is in way over her head when bills pile up, her stand is lacking customers in the winter season, and the threats from the man she owes to turns dangerous.

Hal feels the need to escape and she can do that if she can swing fooling an entire family into believing she’s related to them. When she receives a letter in the mail claiming that she is the recipient of a substantial inheritance from the deceased Mrs. Westaway, it seems almost too good to be true – especially considering that she believed her grandparents to be dead. Despite committing a major act of fraud, Hal has nothing left to lose and everything to gain and heads to the funeral with the claim that she is the daughter of the deceased woman’s daughter, Maud.

At the funeral, Hal encounters the three brothers of her “mother” and, though lots of questions are raised, she is supposedly in with a family that she seemingly has no connection to. Or so she thinks. Because when she discovers her real mother in a photo of the siblings at their elaborate Victorian manor, everything she thinks she knows about herself and her mother becomes flipped. Does this family know who her father is? What is Hal’s mother’s relation to them? Is she a rightful heir to the inheritance after all? Read the book and find out!

I am not sure how to feel about The Death Of Mrs. Westaway. I actually loved it until the grand reveal and, although I saw it coming, I was disappointed with the outcome. I genuinely can’t say anything more than that without giving it completely away. But, what I will say, is that I did enjoy a solid ninety percent of the book. It was well written, suspenseful, downright sinister at times, and I liked almost all of the characters.

I appreciated Hal’s bravery throughout the novel and I liked that she didn’t back down to find the answers that directly pertained to her. She was able to play herself off as the mousy long lost niece and all the while she was making plans and using her intuition to solve the mystery of her own life. She was a heroine that I rooted for the entire time and I wish that the grand reveal did her more justice.

All in all, I’m going to rate this book with a six out of ten. I did not hate it but it was certainly not my favorite Ruth Ware novel by any means. I feel like I ended my reading journey with her on a sour note and am looking forward to a new book by her so that redemption can possibly happen.

What are you reading right now? How did you feel about The Death Of Mrs. Westaway if you read it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

Howdy! I recently finished another Ruth Ware novel called The Lying Game and have read The Woman In Cabin 10 and In A Dark, Dark Wood by her this summer, too. I have to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with either of those books but The Lying Game was a great read and I am happy that I chose to give Ware one more try before calling it quits and finding another author to read. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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The Lying Game revolves around new mother, Isa, and her three best girlfriends from high school, Kate, Thea (Whose name I’m still not sure how to pronounce!), and Fatima. At their boarding school, the girls reveled in what they called “The Lying Game” and would keep a scoreboard to record the points from the tall tales that they would spin based on the quality and if people actually believed them. The game was supposed to be all in good fun and the rules were simple, including “never lie to your friends” and “know when to stop the lie”.

The girls spent one year at the boarding school together, which came to an abrupt halt when they were asked to leave quietly in the wakes of a possible scandal that directly involved them. And, although it’s a rarity that they talk now as they are all in their thirties, when a friend texts the three words of “I need you” the now women drop their responsibilities immediately and flock to the one in distress.

So, when Kate sends Isa the call to action, she packs up her belongings with her six month old daughter in tow and makes the journey to her, near the old boarding school. The text was indeed an urgent one because once the ladies arrive to Kate’s, it is revealed that a human bone was found in the sea – a result of their “game” being taken too far. With a police investigation nipping at their heals, the once best friends have to come up with a plan and unravel the truth behind their lies before an arrest is made. Were they murderers? Covering something up? Or just plain stupid? Read the book and find out!

I absolutely adored The Lying Game and devoured it in a matter of days. It was so refreshing to read a book with a tangible plot and told from the perspective of someone with a sound mind. Because, let’s be honest, the unstable narrator shtick has been hopelessly drawn out. The Lying Game was filled with twists and turns that actually seemed plausible and I really had no idea what the end result was going to be.

It was interesting to see how a mistake that happened in their teenage years has haunted each woman in the almost two decades since it happened. Each one dealt with the trauma in a different way and it made for fascinating characters with realistic flaws and personalities. The Lying Game was a wild ride and I am now ready to tuck into another Ruth Ware novel ASAFP!

And, now for the star rating…. I award The Lying Game with an eight out of ten. The plot was riveting, the characters were all likeable in their own ways, and I genuinely enjoyed myself while reading it. Highly recommend.

Has anyone read The Lying Game? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah