Day: October 17, 2020

A week of book reviews – ‘Needlemouse’ by Jane O’Connor #BookReview

I have been absolutely snowed under with work over the last few weeks – not that I’m complaining – and although I’ve been reading as much as I can, I haven’t got round to reviewing. So this week I’m determined to catch up with a review a day.

needlemouse

Hive   

Time to come out of hibernation…

Sylvia Penton has been hibernating for years, it’s no wonder she’s a little prickly…

Sylvia lives alone, dedicating herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps out at a local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays – and it makes people think she’s nicer than she is.

Only Sylvia has a secret: she’s been in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now, and she’s sure he’s just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and covertly makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.

But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams of the fairy tale ending she has craved for so long, are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future. 

Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…

This is a tricky one – I’m still not sure whether I liked this book or not! It’s well-written, without a doubt, and it’s an interesting story. But there were aspects of Sylvia that just didn’t work. She’s intelligent, resourceful, independent, yet she behaves like a schoolgirl around the professor, who seems to be devoid of any redeeming qualities. That didn’t really ring true for me. And she’s so spiteful, so cold about everyone except the professor, that it’s hard to really believe in the changes that happen. When we learn more about her, we understand her so much more, but this doesn’t happen until around the second half of the book – I think the novel would have worked so much better if there had been a few more hints earlier on, a few subtle suggestions about what was behind her behaviour.

So a bit hit and miss – but worth a read.

three and a half stars