Book Reviews

The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson – Helen Kitson

Synopsis

Once upon a time Gabrielle Price wrote and published an extraordinary novel.

But twenty years on her literary star has dimmed, her “work of genius” is all but forgotten, and no further novels have materialized. She now lives an unremarkable life: middle-aged, living alone in the sleepy village she grew up in, and working as a housekeeper for the local vicar. Her lonely existence is dominated by memories of her best friend Madeleine, who died young, in tragic and mysterious circumstances.

Gabrielle’s quiet world is turned upside down when she meets and befriends Simon – young, attractive, a would-be writer, and enthusiastic fan of the astonishing novel that Gabrielle published all those years ago. Charmed and flattered, she recklessly invites him into her home and her heart. But Simon is mysterious and manipulative, and it’s not long before he forces Gabrielle to confront the demons in her past. Gabrielle’s obsession begins to destroy her carefully cultivated life, and she comes to feel increasingly threatened by Simon’s presence. Who is he? Why did he seek her out? And what does he really want?

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Once upon a time there was a book. Within that book there was a lonely woman called Gabrielle. She was lonely. She may not have realised it but she was. She lived alone with her cat Pushkin. She worked for the local vicar as his housekeeper, feeding him, cleaning and doing his washing. Other than that she did very little.

Doesn’t sound very exciting does it?

The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson is a creepy, shout at your paperback, roll your eyes in disbelief book. I grew more and more infuriated with Gabrielle at both her naivety and her stupidity. I was invested from the first chapter – I wanted to know what had happened to Madeleine, what Gabrielle had to do with it and who the hell Simon actually was! It’s brilliant. The story hooks you from the start and slowly reels you in…

While it is pretty easy to guess early on who Simon actually is, that doesn’t detract from the story and I’m pretty certain that the author means for you to have your own suspicions about him. There are a few more twists to the story that you WON’T see coming.

The story revolves around the lies we tell ourselves and the life we create for ourselves round these lies. How we think we are happy with our lot when in fact we want a lot more. How letting people into our lives can be the best and the worst thing we can do.

I loved this book.

Publisher: Louise Walters Books

Released: March 2019

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

I bought a signed copy of The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson for myself from Louise Walters Books – you can too!

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