I'm working my way through the Booker longlist and, while I've enjoyed what I've read thus far, this is the first book I've personally completed that has a genuine sense of humour and made me laugh out loud. That's not to say it's a comedy or a light-hearted trope - it's really, really not - but it is part of the human condition that we find humour even when times are black so, despite the plot being far removed from my own experiences, I found it compellingly believable and realistic.
The main character, Rosemary, is cleverly conceived. As a small child, she challenged herself to learn new 'big' words and this is perfectly mirrored in her narration, where they are often thrown in. She is isolated and, she believes, unloved, but she's a genuine, warm person. The twist in the tale, coming not at the end but before the middle of the novel, had me gasping in shock. Fowler's plotting and chronology are pitch perfect. My only complaint is the ending seemed to happen far too quickly and I wished for a lot more.
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