17 May 2011

Book Review: A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth

   
What a great find. Knowing nothing about A Kind of Intimacy or its author Jenn Ashworth, I picked this one up at the Border's closeout for 60% off. I actually picked up a few Europa Editions that day just because they have interesting covers and are well made books. So I guess it is icing on the cake that I really liked the novel itself.

In the early (and I mean early) pages I found myself rooting for Annie as she leaves her past behind and pledges to get a fresh new start in life. I love the opening scene where she kicks her old couch a few times as she prepares to leave her old house for good. I had such a hopeful feeling for Annie and her future. When she arrives in her new neighborhood I bristled at the insensitivity of her new neighbor who mistakes her for a char woman and can't get it through his head that she is single--that there is no husband and no child still to arrive.

And then you start to realize that something is a little off about Annie--that is until you realize that there is A LOT that is off about Annie. This might be kind of spoilery, but I don't think it will ruin the suspense created in the book. Annie is a total whack job. She is delusional and a pathological liar. I will leave it up to you to find out if her story is a tragedy or a triumph. I don't want to give too much away.

I was absolutely drawn into Annie's story and couldn't wait to see what happened next. There were moments when I was absolutely squirming in embarassment as Annie is about to get caught in a lie. But like all pathological liars she brilliantly deflects scrutiny, at least for a while. There was suspsense, and humor, and more than a little hmm...kinkiness. Its dark, its disturbing, but eminently readable.

This is a fantastic book. And a debut novel to boot.

12 comments:

  1. Oh, I am so glad that this was a good one! I happened to chance upon my local Borders on their very last day of operation when everything was slashed to 80% off. I wound up picking this book up on a whim because it sounded rather cool AND because, as you say, the Europa editions are rather nicely put together. Now I'm even more excited for this!

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  2. A book about a total whack job? Sounds like something I'd like.

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  3. Your review has me very intrigued to read this one!

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  4. Hmm. You've certainly piqued my curiosity. As Ti says, "A total whack job"? Sign me up.

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  5. My housemate made me read this a couple of years ago, and I thought it was really good - I was also living next door to someone not unlike Annie at the time... Jenn is also the loveliest person, I met her at a publisher event and we had such fun. Her second novel is waiting for me, now that my housemate has relinquished it.

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  6. She sounds like one of my older brothers. Can't wait to read this!

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  7. Usually when I get a book for a bargain and haven't heard of it the book ends up awful. Glad that didn't happen for you this time! This sounds like a really interesting book and I'm intrigued by the "twist."

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  8. This sounds good! I love Europe editions, too... will keep an eye out for it.

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  9. So glad you liked this one--I am always on the lookout for good Europas as I love them!

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  10. Steph: Having now read it, I would be happy if I had paid full price for it. And the author certainly deserves full price for it. I guess the difference in us getting these cheapo copies is that Borders Inc takes the loss. Unlike a remainder where the publisher/author does.

    Ti: It is a book that definitely makes me feel like I really got my crap together.

    Kathleen: It is worth taking a chance.

    Picky: And it all seems so believable as well.

    Simon: If you ever run into her again tell her I am trying to get a buzz going in the US.

    Daniel: Maybe you should write a book about your brothers.

    Ash: I have had the same experience. You think the cheap price makes it worth the effort and then you realize how boring or bad a book can be. But occasionally there is a gem.

    JoAnn: Worth looking into.

    Lola: Out of the two Europas I have actually read, I have liked them both. I have others on the shelf waiting to be read, we will see if my streak continues.

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  11. I read this and thought it excellent as well! I sort of like unreliable narrators--Ashworth really knows how to string a reader along and keep the pages turning! She has a new book out that I'm looking forward to reading, but I am not sure when it will be released here.

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  12. I like the sound of this and have put it on my tbr list. Thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to my attention.

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