Sunday, March 12, 2023

The Woman in the Library


The Woman in the LibraryThe Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a strangely put together book and a very, very, good story.

How often have you been in the library and heard a scream? How many times have you been there when someone found a dead person? Not often, right? All of this occurs right off the bat in The Woman in the Library. The action causes four strangers to become close acquaintances almost immediately.

Do I have your attention? It’s what grabbed mine from the first page. This is an excellent mystery. The personalities and relationships of the four characters become the biggest part of the story. They are, in fact, the whole plot. Hannah, our writer and POV in the story, is our main character, but it is very difficult to call the three other immediate friends side characters. Everyone’s life seems to become entwined with the others. A group of friends all created from the scream of The Woman in the Library.

This story did have some distraction for me though. It has to do with my reference to a “strangely put together book”. After each chapter in the book is a letter from what appears to be Hannah’s editor/researcher. His name is Leo. He describes his impressions about the chapter of her manuscript he has just read. I won’t tell you there is no added value from these letters, but it broke up the reading flow of this good story, at least it did for me. As the story quickened in intensity, I caught myself skipping Leo’s letters so that I could move on to the actual story.

The odd construction of the book/story is the only reason I would give this 4 stars instead of 5. While I would recommend this to anyone, I don’t think I’d like another “story within a story”.

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