Get ready for a book with lots of depth, mixed with literature and incredible writing. Let me introduce you to The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson by Helen Kitson.
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 materialised. She now lives an unremarkable life: middle-aged, living alone in the sleepy village she grew up in and 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 it’s not long before he forces Gabrielle to confront the demons of her past. Who is Simon? Why did he seek her out? And what does he really want?
It’s engaging and more-ish
Just a quick note: I went into this book thinking that it was going to be a thriller, and whilst there were the odd plot twists, it didn’t have toooooo much of a thriller vibe. I’d put this more down as literary fiction with an edge.
I did find the protagonist slightly naïve in the beginning, but I didn’t see the book going where it did. Gabrielle seemed to have a clever head on her shoulders, but as the story progressed, you could see her point of view changing. I absolutely loved reading this; it was in first person, so it really felt like Gabrielle was talking to you. In the 298 pages, I got so very attached, laughed and loved the characters and how they were portrayed.
I read this in one day, when I was supposed to be doing other things, but I found myself often cutting my duties short just so I could read on. It’s engaging and more-ish.
The best thing for me about this book was that the ending did not feel rushed at all. I was slightly worried when I could feel there weren’t many pages left, but it felt complete upon closing it, and not the usual rushing.
There were lots of different layers to this book, and one that I found myself analysing, which in turn actually fits with the book itself. I’m very intrigued as to what this would be like on a re-read, so I’ll be picking it up again as soon as possible.
I would’ve liked to have the title name mentioned in the book, as I know this would have given me chills, but I’m not disappointed, as it raises some important themes, such as complicated relationships, manipulation and dealing with secrets.
This book is so beautifully written, intertwined with literature and famous names with a lovely message; for every book-lover and writer, this is a short, sweet book that you need to read, whilst giving you a well-thought through and detailed story for you to analyse.
The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson, Helen Kitson, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository
Publisher: Louise Walters Books
Genre: Literary Fiction