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Whatever You Love Paperback – 6 Mar 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571313442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571313440
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Doughty creates a haunting, heart-wrenching portrait. (Psychologies)

The opening chapter is electrifyingly painful. From then on the reader is spellbound ... the book is hauntingly believable ... so powerful is the evocation of raw emotion that, the day after i finished it, I woke up with that same feeling. It was some minutes before I realised I was still inside Doughty's book. (A N Wilson Readers Digest)

It is an extraordinarly opening, written with such taut understatement that the mother's grief is given a visceral power: we empathise with it immediately ... Whatever You Love is a masterfully constructed novel, at once gripping and tender ... The emotional power of Doughty's prose is such that the reader is complicit in Laura's journey from loss to retribution. Doughty forces us to confront the darkness that lies beneath the skin. The result is a brilliant and brutal novel that continues to unsettle long after the final page has been turned. (Observer)

Absorbing (Grazia)

A stunning tale of grief and the lengths to which a woman must go to come to terms with it. (Woman and Home)

Brilliant, disturbing, heart-wrenching. (Daily Mirror)

Book Description

Whatever You Love, from Louise Doughty - the bestselling author of Apple Tree Yard - is a heart-wrenching psychological thriller about bereavement and revenge, desire and infidelity, for fans of Gone Girl, The Husband's Secret and Before I Go to Sleep.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tamara L on 2 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Narrated in the first person, the story opens with the death of Laura's nine year old daughter. It backtracks to Laura's relationship and subsequent marriage to David, then David's relationship with another woman. Reading this was like a punch in the stomach. The grief is so raw, the betrayal so bitter.

I'm not generally a fan of thrillers but this is so much more. Intelligent and well-written, it drags you kicking and screaming into its angry passionate heartbroken maelstrom. It would make a great TV adaptation - and I'm guessing that's why it didn't make the Orange shortlist - it does have that made-for-TV feel. Most likely it didn't come across as literary enough for the judges. All I know is I didn't want to go to bed I was so gripped by it, and it was the first thing I thought of when I woke in the morning. A fantastic read and I was on the verge of giving it five stars (I award this accolade rarely in proportion to the amount I read) but thought I would reflect on it a bit first. This was a useful check because after a week or so it had lost a lot of its effect and it didn't stay in my head. Its power is in its urgency and immediacy.

I would definitely recommend it though. An absolute page-turner.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Whatever You Love" is the first Louise Doughty book I've read and I really enjoyed it. The novel is ostensibly about the loss of Laura's daughter, Betty, whose death we learn of in the first page of the prologue and the impact that it has on Laura's life and the people around her. After the prologue the book is structured into 4 parts which alternate between "before" and "after" the events of Betty's death and provide detailed insight into the life of Laura with a final short epilogue.

The book synopsis on the jacket focusses on the vengeance that Laura wants to take against the man who killed Betty. While this is certainly a strong element of the story, it's somewhat misleading as the story is really about the relationship between Laura and her husband David. Although the book isn't quite what the jacket blurb suggests, it is still a riveting read and I stayed up late one night to read the last 100 pages.

It's a book that made me think - why were people behaving as they were, how do people deal with grief and loss, how perspective changes how a relationship appears to be. Doughty has a lovely realistic feel to her writing; there's a line where she describes a scene where a jar of mayonnaise is thrown and smashes and Doughty writes "Why does mayonnaise go translucent when it gets warm? Am I the only one who finds that sinister?" I just loved that simple observation (and I also think it's sinister!). There are other lovely simple observations that make the characters seen more real.

I'll definitely be looking at Doughty's other books. A recommended read if you like psychological thrillers/suspense that don't follow a standard plot.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By JM VINE VOICE on 14 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was not what I expected at all, as I started it I didn't actually think I was going to like it but I was pleasantly surprised and found myself really enjoying it, though it's a painful and sad read, particularly when you have a child of similar age to the little girl who is killed in an accident.
But I think the blurb is somewhat misleading, it implies that the book focuses on the dead child's mother seeking revenge on the driver who killed her. This is only a brief part of the story, and not even the climax. The book tells the story of how Laura, the mother, met her husband and married him, and then subsequently lost him to another woman, and then the aftermath of losing her daughter. Had that been the blurb I would probably not have read it, but as it is, it manages to be a riveting read throughout. I certainly would never have guessed what happens.
Interesting and different, and very well written.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 13 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
An excellent story dealing with a difficult and emotive subject. Whatever you Love details Laura's life and how it unravels when she hears the news that her young daughter has been killed by a car. In counterpoint the history of her relationship with David,her daughter's father - and now-ex-husband and how that relationship started, flourished and unexpectedly ended.

It's a book about grievous loss and expertly describes in unfliching detail the gamut of emotions accompanying such tragedies.

Once the initial shock of the tragedy has passed Laura starts to find out the details of the accident and decides to wreak her own personal vengeance.

A book that tugs at the heart, draws tears and still manages to surprise right to the end.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bob and Billy's Mum TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was quickly captivated by this book - a story of Laura and the loss of her eldest daughter Betty in a hit and run. Very much an interior monologue, it explores the feelings and emotions and numbness that she experiences as she tries to make sense of the life she has left.

The blurb though, indicates it is a story of revenge. Indeed it is, but the story convolutes into the story of her relationship with David (Betty's father / Laura's husband). This confused me a little - I felt both stories were told well but neither developed fully - I found other details clumsy and difficult to reconcile (I don't want to say what as it would spoil the plot); the end felt rushed and for me, unsatisfying.

Intelligent prose, shocking in places, with a flash forward / flash back timeline makes this a genuinely captivating read though, and one I would recommend.
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