Monday, 21 December 2015

As Good as Dead - Elizabeth Evans

Endearingly flawed and battered-around-the-edges, Charlotte has managed to fashion herself a life that balances marriage and a writing career, but now Esmé, the charming friend Charlotte betrayed at university, stands at Charlotte’s door: Surprise!

Charlotte yearns to make amends, but she’s wary. Esmé makes no mention of Charlotte’s old betrayal and the two resume their friendship, but soon enough a request from Esmé will upend Charlotte’s careful world. 

Suspenseful, witty, with spot-on evocations of university life in the late 1980s, As Good as Dead performs an exquisite psychological high-wire act, exploring loves and friendships poisoned by secrets and fears.

I settled down with this book hoping for a really intriguing read. Unfortunately my intrigue waned when the book began to weave back and forth and bring in issues from the past. I read on hoping that these would be integral to the story - which they were, but it was so drawn out that when we came back to the future I thought I had missed something. I read on and no I hadn't missed anything, seems like the central character Charlotte just really likes stringing out a story.

What I did love were the insightful moments of the friendship between Esme and Charlotte. They were written so clearly that I could imagine being there witnessing their early friendship. However, I never really got the feeling that I knew either of these girls. The "betrayal" seemed to be so out of character and made me feel even more that I just didn't get this character. 

Ultimately the betrayal and the request from Esme were soon sorted in a few pages - leaving us with an ending that seemed very limp compared to the rest of the fast pace in the book.

I'm giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. Great writing, just not compelling or thrilling enough for me I'm sorry to say. 
My thanks go to Negalley for a free e copy of this book for review. 

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