Sunday, June 13, 2021

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller


I actually put off writing my review for this because I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I ended up going for a hike and then I came back and fell asleep, and when I woke up, I saw this book sitting on the armrest of my chair and sighed, like, "Oh, YOU. I don't like you."

UNSETTLED GROUND is sort of a mystery but not in the way you might expect. Instead of a traditional whodunnit, it's more of a gradual untangling of relationships and lingering resentments. The book starts out with the mother of two fifty-something-year-old twins dying of a stroke. The twins, Jeanie and Julius, are basically just above the poverty line and after she dies, they have to scramble to make ends meet and hold onto their home.

This was a difficult read because the more I read, the more I disliked all of the characters. The hook for me was the idea of picking apart the structure of this small English town and kind of looking into this poor family living off their land, but I predicted the "mystery" element really early on and there wasn't really a single character in here that I particularly liked or rooted for at all-- and I really disliked the end.

The writing was good and I thought the pacing was nicely done and the story kept me engaged to the finish, but man, this really wasn't what I was hoping for. I'm actually more excited about her other book, which I bought recently: BITTER ORANGE. It sounds more in line with my tastes and I'm really looking forward to it.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

2.5 out of 5 stars

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