Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Death of Mrs. Westaway/ Ruth Ware/ 368 pgs

I've read other books by Ware and enjoyed them. This one didn't quite live up to the excellence of the others. Harriet Westaway is a 21-year-old tarot card reader who is all alone in the world. Her mother, who raised "Hal" on her own, was hit and killed by a car three years ago. Hal has no friends and no money and in the first of many well-trod cliches, owes money to a loan shark. Then, out of the blue, she receives notice that she's been named in her grandmother's will. Except that the titular Mrs. Westaway does not have the same name as Hal's grandmother. Scared and threatened by the loan shark, Hal decides to brazen it out in the hopes of getting a small inheritance. The rest of the story involves her meeting the family, trying to keep her lies straight, figuring out that she is indeed related to the family, and secrets popping up everywhere. The story has a gothic feel to it but the pace is too slow and the secrets too easy to figure out. Hal, despite claiming that she has an inner strength and can face anything, too often ends up fainting, crying, or sitting on a curb at the train station in despair. I was hoping for more "fight" from her.

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