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Tuesday 12 May 2009

Crossed Wires

By Rosy Thornton

In this novel, Rosy Thornton has created a cast of characters you’ll love so much that you won’t want to leave them behind when you finish the book.

Call centre worker Mina, struggling to bring up her daughter and sister, and academic Peter, struggling to recover from a devastating incident in his life, will have you gripped from the first page. But what made this novel outstanding for me was the way in which the supporting cast was drawn.

There are some exquisite characters in this story. Peter’s neighbour Jeremy who spends his days drawing cockroaches for a living, but can always be relied on in a crisis, his student Trish who obsesses over her dissertation and teaches his nine year old daughters to play cards for money, and Ollie the hermaphrodite dog, are all an absolute joy.

The quirky cast inhabit a world that has been skilfully and beautifully drawn. Throughout the story, descriptive details are lushly filled in, giving the story a background that springs off the page.

Rosy Thornton covers a number of important themes in this novel with a sure touch. Loss, and how people deal with it, is high on the list, but also we have the highs and lows of parenting, the power of coincidence, the pressure to conform and live life by the expectations of others, and the fear and inevitability of change.

I found this novel compelling and emotionally satisfying. I wanted to get to the end to see what happened, but at the same time I wanted not to ever get to the end because I didn’t want to leave the lives of Peter and Mina behind.

The story is intellectually satisfying in a way that reminded me of Kate Atkinson. It is a love story – but it is so much more than that. It is also a story that makes you think.

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt


Lane Mathias said...

Great review Helen and I agree entirely!

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Another one for my tbr pile.


Cathy said...

That sounds like a great book!

Karen said...

Any story reminiscent of Kate Atkinson has got to be worth reading in my opinion! Great review :o)

Fiona Mackenzie. Writer said...

Someone mentioned this book to me this morning, saying how good it was. Now I've read your excellent review, it will be top of my list.

DJ Kirkby said...

Ooooh I love the cover and want the book now that I've read your review. I am telling Chopper it is all your fault!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I love books that make me want to get to the end to see what happens, when at the same time not wanting to finish it.

claire p said...

Drat, this list of mine just keeps getting bigger!

HelenMWalters said...

Looks like this one's destined for lots of people's 'to be read' piles. Excellent news.