Review - Blood Wedding, Pierre Lamaitre

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Blood Wedding
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Book Synopsis

The slippage is a gradual process for Sophie Duget.   Small incidents like forgetting where she has parked her car, returning books to the library unread, mislaying her purchases.  Not too much too worry about on their own but put together, and happening more often, these little incidents depict a life unravelling.    Sophie once led an ordered life once but if she is honest, it was coming part well before her husband passed away.  What propels her forward into a life on the run is the murder of a small child in her care.

As the deaths attributed to Sophie pile up, it becomes necessary to change her identity.  To cement that change, Sophie becomes a fugitive in want of a husband.  To change her name, to move out of the country, to start a new life… that is all the solution that she can offer herself.  It may all that she can do, but it may also be the start of a deeper descent into madness.

Book Review

There is much of the before in this novel, and there is also much of the after.  Sophie can’t run from herself but as she struggles to make sense of her new present, it becomes a delirious ride where the reader needs to establish what events are the direct result of Sophie’s own actions or those of another.  Sophie’s struggles to make sense of all that is happening to her are quite moving and the righteous anger does build up when you realize the depth of her predicament and the depth of resourcefulness she is going to need in order to survive.

Translated from French to English, some of the language in this ebook is a little mechanical but the economies of that narrative style serve well to punctuate how Sophie’s situation is growing more desperate.  BLOOD WEDDING gives itself away fairly early in the piece as to the “who” but the “why is always pretty muddy.  The motive, surprisingly, is not that important and the reader fascination lies with how on earth Sophie is going to safely extricate herself from the labyrinth of lies and imagined truths.

There is also a sense of familiar uneasiness with some of the earlier experiences of Sophie’s; those occasions where you question your own memory and wonder whether the odd lapses are all just part of normal behaviour.   As they escalate in seriousness with Sophie, it becomes a tense and unstoppable read to a dramatic but fitting conclusion.

BLOOD WEDDING is a great novel to take with you on your next long journey or to indulge in over one or two sittings.   The time will fly!

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