Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Poison Tree

Title: The Poison Tree

Author: Erin Kelly

Date Finished: December 12, 2010

Personal Book Count: 56 out of 100

Rating: 4 out of 5

Genre/ Subject: suspense

First Line: I let the phone fall from my hand.

Why did I pick this book?: received as an ARC from

Summary and Review: release date: January 11, 2011

Summary (taken from authors website)-

“It is the sweltering summer of 1997, and Karen is a strait-laced, straight-A university student. When she meets the impossibly glamorous Biba, a bohemian orphan who lives in a crumbling mansion in Highgate with her enigmatic brother Rex, she is soon drawn into their world. As the summer progresses, Karen becomes tangled up in their tragic family history and the idyll turns into a nightmare, culminating in murder.

A decade later, Karen collects Rex from prison. Together with their nine-year-old daughter Alice, they try to settle into family life. While Rex has served his time, Karen keeps dark secrets that mean she has her own life sentence to serve. What happened that summer casts a terrifying shadow over her future. Will the past catch up with her?”

Wow. That was the thought I was stuck with for days after finishing this book. It was amazing. When the author contacted me on twitter, I told her I wish that I was Karen and Biba’s friend. She said let me know if I felt that way on the last page. ;)

There were so many twists and turns in this book, that I was surprised. I did guess a couple, but there were so many more that I completely missed. As a girl that likes to read this type of book, I think of myself as usually pretty good at sussing out the end ahead of time, but this one got me.

I like the format of where it jumps from time and place through the life of the main character (Karen). It was a little difficult at times to follow the transitions, as the only clues were name changes, but that could have been the formatting of the copy I had.

The characters are wonderful. Biba is as wild and dramatic and carefree as Karen is studious, responsible and down to earth. Fun seems to ensue following these two through the book, and I often wanted to join them. Rex, Biba’s brother, was not a character I enjoyed as much. I found him a little dry, and did always appreciate the way he reacted to situations, but that could be because he is the type of person that wouldn’t be my cup of tea in real life either. I loved the minor characters that popped in and out, and found they added depth, extra personality and humor, and sometimes needed lightness to the story.

The setting is beautiful, and I could see it as if I was there. It was the type of descriptive writing that could only come from someone who had spent a great deal of time in a place. I could see it, hear it, smell it, but most importantly, wanted to visit it.

I also can relate to the feeling she describes, of wandering into somewhere different, and knowing that is where you want to be. Have you ever gone to someone’s home for the evening, or the weekend, and it so fun/ cozy/ welcoming/ comfortable/ different then your own, that you want to curl up and not leave. Kinda like being at home and escaping, all at the same time? She captures this beautifully.

I have a feeling this one is going to stay with me for a long time to come. It was a very enjoyable ride. =D

Agree? Disagree? Recommendations? Any insights, suggestions, or comments on the book or format, or blog at all are most welcome. If you have read this and/ or review it yourself, please let me know. Can you think of any books like this? Give me a recommendation! =D

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