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The Inn at the Edge of the World Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this warm, sometimes acerbic story of how the visitors fared on their escape from Christmas. There is a touch of danger for actress Jessica, a touch of the supernatural for Harry, but it's not what actor Jon would call a successful jaunt, and though they start off well, can Ronald and Anita really end up together? For poor Eric, whose wife decides to leave on the day the guests arrive, there are only the consolations of help from Finlay, the taciturn ex-fisherman, and his webb-fingered sister, who is even more closed-mouthed than her brother.
Alice Thomas Ellis is wonderfully bright and funny but there's also an edge of the sinister to this entirely original and delightful book.
The first part of the book introduces you to the characters, and characters they certainly are. Each guest has their individual demon, and hopes to use the vacation for escape and relief. The host meanwhile, has completely lost track of his wife, who leaves the Inn at the most inopportune moment, as fast as her wobbling high heels will carry her. The other characters provide local color, promiscuity and adultery, adding intrigue and humor to the story.
This is a dark and hopeless romance story, where relationships are doomed to failure. Be warned that there's no cozy happy ending amidst the supernatural twists that pop up in the story like flashes of lightning on a dark rainy night.
The travellers who return home are older and wiser but not gratified or satisfied. The book closes with the enigmatic words "ye all come back in the end"
An interesting read from an outstanding author.
The owner of the isolated Inn in question had a dream of a cosy hostelry bustling with appreciative locals and tourists but naturally reality doesn't behave itself and he and his wife are going to be in trouble if they can't attract more custom. The starting point of the tale is his decision to advertise as a retreat from Christmas, and the story unfolds as we discover the guests and their reasons for retreating, then follow their interactions with each other and the local community.
The Inn is set in a remote island, physically cut off from the mainland, and this is a metaphor for the emotional isolation of many of the characters.
Having myself lived in a remote village I could appreciate the descriptions of the way the guests at the inn, the real locals and the "incomers" (whether regular visitors or recent residents) dance round each other. Much of this is quite funny.
I have knocked off one star because I can't decide if I was really convinced by the supernatural element that twisted its way into the story part way through the book. It almost became a way of taking the edge off something that would otherwise be a shocking tragedy, so that the reactions of the characters are less than might have been expected, somehow. However it's a clever take on old Celtic legends and you do find yourself going "ohhhhh, so that's what that bit was all about..."
Definitely a good read and refreshing not to have a load of too-neat happy endings!
A times I was engrossed and scared, and others, complete at a loss to the plot and where the book was heading. I had little empathy with any of the characters and only really liked poor Harry and Eric.
I'm found the setting so bleak and desolate it was somewhat depressing. Even so I finished it, which is a sign all was not bad, as I never finish a book I truly dislike.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't have much of depth to say about this book (it's too long since I read it) but know it was amusing and I liked it!Published on 11 Feb. 2014 by chemistrykaren
I didn't find the storyline or characters believable, and the writing style too varied. I found the whole story fairly trite and rather like a "penny dreadful". Read morePublished on 29 Jan. 2013 by Gail Clarkson
Nice easy read with a good plot line. Iliked this book because it had an unusual plot which I thought worked wellPublished on 20 Jan. 2013 by Sheila Jones
Quite an interesting book, with fairly well drawn characters. I would read another of her books in the hope of improvement.Published on 18 Jan. 2013 by audreyview
quite predictable, but enjoyable just the same - not a reread as far as I'm concerned but might try another by the same authorPublished on 5 Jan. 2013 by readergran
This is a good read for dark nights when the rain lashes the windows. Plenty to keep you guessing and the reveal is definitely out of the left field .Published on 3 Dec. 2012 by greysurfer