- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1909 KB
- Print Length: 359 pages
- Publisher: Barbara Copperthwaite (31 Mar. 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JEN1TYA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer reviews: 163 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,597 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Invisible Kindle Edition
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The structure is quite excellent, and highly original - the diary of a very ordinary and unnamed housewife (her husband only calls her Babe and Gorgeous), hoping to convince her husband that they should start a family, coping with his mood swings, wondering about the future of their marriage, swinging from joy in her loving relationship to despair and confusion when things don't go well and she finds herself apologising again for everything being her fault. In fact, for the first quarter of the book, that's it really - totally absorbing as you wonder where the story might be going, as you live her life with her, feeling her joy as she nestles into her husband's chest surrounded by the scent of Lynx Africa with a hint of diesel (he's a long distance lorry driver), recognising the familiar and common, sometimes nodding along in understanding.
Then comes that "explosive night" - the clues and hints were all there - and things can never be the same again. I loved the way she initially clung to her belief that everything would be well, and the way everything slowly and turned, with the reader maybe just a tiny bit ahead of her. The insights into the plight of an innocent victim - of the most unexpected kind - are quite all-consuming. I lived and breathed this book for as long as I read it - and in the times I had to put it down, it occupied my every waking thought. The writing is simply excellent - it's a book you feel and experience at your core through the narrator's clear and distinctive voice. My sympathies didn't really waver, I was in her corner throughout as she worked through every possible emotion and negative thought: it really was a totally gripping read that changed quite a few of my previous perceptions about victims, punishment, friendship and love, and the way in which human beings can behave so dreadfully to each other.
The characterisation was wonderful - the narrator obviously as the mind you occupy and the voice you hear, but also so many of the incidental characters. Some are pure darkness - an evil so horrendous you find yourself gasping in horror - but others give you some hope for the future of humankind. There's one scene that features her lovely mother - pushed to a point beyond endurance - that brought tears to my eyes. The descriptions - some of them only small touches like a mouthed endearment, a look in the eyes or a facial expression - are so vivid that they're absolutely real, and totally chilling.
If you're a fan of the psychological thriller - this book is many things, but I think that's probably the closest I'll come to describing it - don't miss this one, whatever you do. I knew Barbara Copperthwaite wrote superbly after reading her Flowers For The Dead, but I really wasn't expecting this - an absolutely gripping read, and quite unforgettable.
The story is told to the reader through entries into a diary page. We never actually find out the name of the woman whose diary it is, yet we are taken on a nightmare journey alongside her and I felt by the end like I knew her inside and out.
A diary is a very personal possession, so I felt very privileged to be able to fully understand what was going on in the main characters head as without knowing I don't think I would probably have had any empathy for her and would have struggled to understand her actions.
At first I have to admit I thought she was quite naive and stupid but when I sat back and thought about it, if I was in the same position as her, would I be able to switch my feelings on and off so easily? The answer is as much as I may like to think I could I don't think many of us would find it that easy.
I enjoyed seeing how weak and naive she is at the start and how slowly she revolves into a much stronger and wiser person.
Invisible is a quietly brilliant novel. The fact that the storyline was quite unexpected made it even more enjoyable. Loved it.
On the face of it, that suggests there was something wrong with the book. There wasn’t. It just meant I had to adjust my expectations along the way.
There are no major twists, for example. At least, not in the traditional sense. That said, there didn’t need to be, because the subject matter is compelling in itself. The non-traditional twist is the perspective from which this tale is told, offering up a different take on who the victims of crime are.
I read that, in a previous career, the author had spent time interviewing victims of crime, and undoubtedly that experience has come through in this book. The way the story is written is, on the face of it, straightforward. Nevertheless, by the time you’ve finished reading it, I defy you to not question yourself and the views you’ve held about the perpetrators of crime and their close family members.
Top international reviews
Not as sit on the edge of your seat kind of book, interesting and thoughtful