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Review: Alys, Always

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Alys, Always
Alys, Always by Harriet Lane

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I'd been looking forward to reading this one for a while because the summary pulled me in. I must say that I didn't enjoy this one as much as I'd thought I would. Frances, our narrator, ingratiates herself to the family of Alys (of the title), a woman she comes upon by chance after a car accident that proves fatal. Frances was privy to the final words of Alys & when meeting the woman's greiving family, she chooses to embellish them & ultimately uses that connection as her in to their world. I don't know if Frances was a narcissist, social climber or some other sort of obsessive but I did come to regard her as an unreliable narrator because she gave such self-serving a view of virtually everything and was also hyper-obsessed with how others saw her & painted herself almost like a martyr being put upon by her boring and staid life and everyone who peopled it, except the Kytes. I didn't buy the relationship that happens in the final act but I honestly didn't feel annoyed that Frances manipulated her way in successfully. I didn't know if she really truly cared about the Kytes outside a means of escaping her own drudge of a life but the Kytes were never rendered so deeply that I cared much ultimately. This one was just ok for me but it was short & it's one more I've finally got round to on my "To Read" list, so I'm still pleased. It's not a bad book for a weekend or over the week during lunch.



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