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Should You Ask Me Paperback – 31 May 2018
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Charming, gleeful, a delight...brings Britain at war to vivid life (Guinevere Glasfurd, author of The Words in my Hand)
An intriguing and atmospheric novel, cleverly interweaving different times and crimes through an elderly and most unreliable narrator...absorbing (Amanda Craig, author of The Lie of the Land)
Vivid and brilliantly gripping. I was captivated from the first page. (Esther Freud, author of Hideous Kinky)
An unputdownable combination of thriller and psychological drama (Emma Thompson)
This ingenious page-turner, set in a a Dorset police station in 1944, will keep you guessing until the end...Marianne Kavanagh has produced an original brainteaser of a read (The Lady)
Marianne Kavanagh's novel succeeds on so many levels. It's a thriller, a love story, a vivid portrait of wartime England, a cautionary tale, but above all, it's a fascinating study of suppressed guilt and the human need for absolution through confession. I absolutely loved it (David Haig, actor and playwright)
A beautifully written and gripping novel - boldly traversing genres and historical eras, yet always compassionate, wise and humane (Joanna Kavenna, author of A Field Guide to Reality)
A moving Hardy-esque story of love, lies and loss thrown into sharp relief by its vivid WW2 setting. Indomitable Mary Holmes is a memorable character. (Elisabeth Wilhide, author of If I Could Tell You)
A genuinely mysterious thriller, with an intense sense of time and place - a historical novel of a very different sort (Andrew Marr)
A story of love, history, war, murder, revenge and unlikely friendships - sweeping and compulsive, perfect for fans of Sarah Waters and Tracy Chevalier.See all Product description
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This story was a fascinating tale of how two characters are brought together through circumstances yet connect in such a unique way, I simply had to know what really happened to Mary Holmes and how she was brought to the Police Station that morning to tell her own story and through her we heard William's own heart breaking story and each character was as fascinating as each other.
This book is based on the era of the Second World War, yet it was unique in its own way and for that reason alone I am unable to compare it to any other book I have read in a long time.
Should You Ask me written by Marianne Kavanagh is a great read and one I am happy to recommend.
At Wareham Police Station, elderly Mary Holmes, who has lived in Dorset all her life, walks in to confess to murdering the two people.
Constable William, is given the task of listening to Mary’s confession and taking a statement, a task which is harder than he envisaged, as Mary wants to tell her story in her own way, starting right at the beginning.
Should You Ask Me, for me, was quiet a hard read. At first I found myself getting frustrated with Mary, as she told her life story before actually getting to who the murdered people were, and how and why she killed them.
As I got further into the book, I started to feel sorry for Mary. She had no-one else, no-one to talk to, no-one to listen to her, and for her to explain what had happened, the only way she could confess was to start way before the killings.
The book doesn’t just focus on Mary though, it also focuses on William, as we get to read about his time in the army, the injury that cost him his career, and his meetings with a beautiful evacuee and her baby.
The plot is set over six days, and what a six days it is. The book is full of intrigue, suspense, and emotions. It had me gripped to the pages, not in a thriller kind of way, but in a need to know more about the two main characters, and the lives that they have led and the secrets they both had to share.
This was a beautiful book, well written, well researched, and fitted the time period perfectly. It is a slow read, but one that you will be glad of the pace, as it lets you absorb all the information, and both of these likeable characters lives.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
William is a police constable given a desk job after being invalided out of the army, and the major part of ‘Should You Ask Me’ is William’s week long interrogation of Mary, but this is difficult and frustrating as she insists on telling her story in her own convoluted way in a manner that encompasses a variety of issues. As William struggles to make sense of Mary’s confession and meandering explanations to produce an official statement, she in turn attempts to discover details of William’s own predicament over his army service and private life.
Interwoven around the ongoing delightful dialogue between William and Mary are glimpses of William’s past and his values. Both William and Mary have regrets and secrets to share, and both increasingly appear to want to help one another. This is not always obvious from the questioning and the responses which can be humorous and yet provide serious observations of guilt and redemption. The evolving relationship between William and Mary makes for a poignant and thought-provoking novel – and it fully deserves a 5-star rating.
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Should you ask me is an 'audible' page turner.Read more