9 June 2014

Review: APPLE TREE YARD, Louise Doughty

  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 530 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction (June 6, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Synopsis (Amazon)

Yvonne Carmichael has worked hard to achieve the life she always wanted: a high-flying career in genetics, a beautiful home, a good relationship with her husband and their two grown-up children.
Then one day she meets a stranger at the Houses of Parliament and, on impulse, begins a passionate affair with him - a decision that will put everything she values at risk.

At first she believes she can keep the relationship separate from the rest of her life, but she can't control what happens next. All of her careful plans spiral into greater deceit and, eventually, a life-changing act of violence.

Apple Tree Yard is a psychological thriller about one woman's adultery and an insightful examination of the values we live by and the choices we make, from an acclaimed writer at the height of her powers.

My Take

Although Louise Doughty is a well-established novelist, this is my first outing with her.

The scenario of the novel is interesting, and I surmise that most female readers in their 50s or older have actually "been there", although we may not have taken the action that Yvonne Carmichael does. Yvonne finds that her well-ordered life has become a bit predictable and a tad boring. Her husband has become sexually undemanding and their relationship is complacent. It makes her a surprisingly willing partner to a serial predator.

But things go seriously wrong when another man whom she doesn't find attractive decides to get in on the act.

Much of the novel is concerned with the trial that Yvonne becomes embroiled in, and the tension mounts as she tries to conceal damning truth from the court. Much of the focus is on whether she can actually recognise what has happened to her.

My rating: 4.5

About the author (Fantastic Fiction)

Louise Doughty is a novelist, playwright and cultural commentator. She is the author of seven books. Her first novel, Crazy Paving was published in 1995 and shortlisted for four awards including the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her fourth novel Fires in the Dark, published in 2003 to international critical acclaim, was the first of two historical novels about Romany history and set in central Europe during the Second World War. It was followed by Stone Cradle in 2006, which was about her own English Romanichal ancestors.

 Her most recent novel is Whatever You Love. The Observer newspaper described it as 'a brilliant and brutal novel that continues to unsettle long after the final page has been turned.' She has also written one work of non-fiction, A Novel in a Year, a how-to-write book based on her highly popular newspaper column. Doughty has also published short stories and written five plays for radio, the first of which, Maybe, won a Radio Times Drama Award. She has worked widely as a critic and broadcaster in the UK, including a spell as the presenter of Radio 4's A Good Read, and was a judge for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for fiction.


Clothes In Books said...

I read one book by her and disliked it, but I have been very tempted by the sound of this one, and you have given me another push towards it!

Anonymous said...

I have also read one book by her - Honey Dew Murder - and though I liked the first half (great atmosphere), the ending was a terrible let-down.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Maybe I'll try this book or whatever the library has. It doesn't hurt to try a book, especially if one is not purchasing it. No harm done.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin