Our House – disappointing on viewing

It’s fair to say most of us expected more from British Crime & Thriller Book of the Year for 2019. Some enjoyed the book, others gritted their teeth and persevered to the end, one skipped a chunk in the middle, and several others gave up early on. It was always going to be hard to follow the brilliant Underground Railroad but a mixed reaction makes for a great discussion.

One thing we all agreed on was a lack of sympathy with the main characters, Bram and Fi. Most struggled to warm to Fi, didn’t particularly feel she was a victim despite having several shocks throughout the story. As the author probably intended we found Bram selfish, week and chauvinistic. Maybe a little prejudice and  envy on our part but it was also hard to have sympathy with their plight living in their £2.2 million home. Perhaps the author was suggesting that none of us know what’s happening behind closed doors and that what seems an idyllic life possibly isn’t always the case. However  despite the absence of any redeeming qualities in the characters most of us were still intrigued enough to continue reading until the end.

Our readers commented how both Fi and Bram were completely self-absorbed and felt sorry for the children. Despite Fi and Bram’s novel separation solution being devised to maintain stability for their boys, their parenting skills throughout were found sadly lacking.

The group really enjoyed the structure of the book, the Yin and Yang of Brad and Fi’s accounts which moved you swiftly through the story, and the clever social media asides from outside observers following Fi’s podcast. Some of the group loved the ending, others found it a little contrived and had guessed some or all of the twists. We appreciated that the ending wasn’t too neat and wondered if there might be a sequel. Everyone agreed that the way the book had been written it could easily be adapted for TV.

The story prompted an interesting discussion about the severity of the crimes in the book. We all remarked how easily it seemed for supposedly respectable people to become both victims to crime and become criminals themselves. It was also a reminder about the amount of information available about us all on the Dark Web.

So in summary most of us had higher hopes of Our House but we predict a TV series – Lisa is available for casting advice 🙂 .

Next book and meeting – The Sealwoman’s Gift

We’ve luckily collected the next book set just before our Lockdown 2 – we are off to Iceland and Algeria this time with The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson which we are really looking forward to.

Please get in touch if you would like us to save a copy for you – first come, first served/to send an email but happy to post copies to support home working. As ever all welcome to join us on Thursday 10th December @ 12:30 for our next virtual meeting – email library@geh.nhs.uk and we will send you a MS Teams invitation.