Wednesday 2 May 2018

Review ~ Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

3 May 2018

What's it all about..

Mike knows that most of us travel through the world as one half of a whole, desperately searching for that missing person to make us complete.

But he and Verity are different. They have found each other and nothing and no one will tear them apart.

It doesn't matter that Verity is marrying another man.

You see, Verity and Mike play a game together, a secret game they call 'the crave', the aim being to demonstrate what they both know: that Verity needs Mike, and only Mike.

Verity's upcoming marriage is the biggest game she and Mike have ever played. And it's for the highest stakes.

My thoughts about it..

Oh ,what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive, springs to mind. and there is no greater tangled web than the one we find ourselves in in Our Kind of Cruelty which takes the idea of obsessive love to the point of madness. On the surface, it's is a complex and convoluted story and even though we are given a lot of information about the curious dynamics of Mike and Verity's relationship, in the end it all comes down to whose side of the story you believe. 

Mike is a very difficult character to like, and yet to the author's credit, I found that I actually came to, sort of, understand him, and even though he plays a deadly game, I was fascinated to see how his story would unfold. And whilst there is no way to condone his actions, neither am I shocked that he chose to act in the way he did. Rather more strangely, and almost against instinct, I didn't have any warm feelings at all for Verity and that surprised me as I expected to be more on her side, but I found her distinctly unlikable and couldn't begin to forgive her part in the eventual outcome.

I found the first person narrative compelling to read and could very clearly hear Mike's voice. That he is also supremely flawed only adds more depth to what is a very dark story and whilst it is perhaps more common to get a female perspective on a story about obsessional love, this book certainly doesn't lose anything by offering something quite different.

The author writes really well and has, very clearly, thought long and deep about the subject she so bravely tackles in this story, and in an enlightening afterword she shares her inspiration for the book, which was fascinating to read.

I found much to occupy my mind in Our Kind of Cruelty, namely about blame and culpability, and of the irrationality and inherent danger of obsessional love.

About the Author

Araminta Hall has worked as a writer, journalist and teacher. She has had two novels published previously; Everything & Nothing, a Richard and Judy read in 2011 and Dot was published in 2013. 
She teaches creative writing at New Writing South in Brighton, where she lives with her husband and three children.

Twitter @AramintaHall #WhatsYourVerdict

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