I know this is a little late – I had someone reverse into my car (more on that on Friday). Welcome to the first of Berg’s Book Club.
Today, I will be reviewing Fiona Macbain’s Glasdrum. Fiona has grown as a writer since her first book, Daughter, Disappeared and I enjoyed the read.
The writing style is third person limited, but from the point of view of several characters and it works really well. The book is a mystery novel from the point of view of several female characters, all of whom are unhappy with their current lifestyle. Each of them feels that the other characters lives are better than theirs. Because the book is written in the third person limited narrative, the reader is able to know what each of the characters opinions and thoughts are when interacting with each other.
All the characters are unique and stand out. MacBain is great at differentiating between her characters. The only issue I had was the naming of two characters. Lewis and Louise. During my screenwriting class and my modules in creative writing, I learned that naming characters a similar name can cause confusion and this emphasised it. Especially as Louise and Lewis were both minor characters, so whenever they popped up, I would occasionally mix them up.
The story starts when one of the protagonists, Megan, finds bones in her garden that she believes belongs to her father; she wants to find out what happened to him, but with family complications and the prospect of a serial killer in town, obstacles are in her way.
Her brother’s girlfriend, Sarah has moved to Glasdrum with him and is drawn into the drama, along with Megan’s friends, Vicky and Finella.
MacBain is good at keeping the mystery, not letting anyone know if there really is a mist murder in town or what happened to Megan’s dad. There are also some surprising plot twists. MacBain uses the plot twists to develop the story, rather than using it just for the sake of using it and I love it. Most of the plot twists happen to Megan and therefore make Megan the main protagonist out of the three.
Most of the plot twists happen to Megan and therefore make Megan the main protagonist out of the three. This illustrates that Megan is often kept in the dark compared to the other characters. Due to Megan’s personality and her inability to keep a secret if it emotionally affects her, it is believable that there would be a lot that Megan would not be made aware of.
I love the character growth of the characters too. Finella and Sarah both start off as weak characters, both for different reasons. However, as they deal with the mist murderer, family problems and the bones found in Megan’s garden, they both become stronger and Finella is able to start a new life – even though it gives her a case of depression at first. It is not clear what happens to Sarah, but it can be assumed that she too gets a new beginning.
Vicky is also an interesting character, dealing with a secret of her own. Afraid of judgement and her past, the added drama takes a strain on her that her real issue is Finella’s husband, Alex, who tried but failed to seduce her.
The book contains strong themes of sexual abuse but the effects and trauma are shown realistically.
I believe that Fiona has learned from her mistakes in her first book, her writing has greatly improved and will continue to improve as she writes more books. Hoping to read future books.
I hope you enjoyed reading.
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