The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

“Now, if the enumeration of so many edifices, brief as we have tried to be, has not shattered in the reader’s mind the general image of old Paris as fast as we have endeavored to construct it, we will recapitulate it in a few words.

Have you ever read a book that’s changed you in some way? I talk not of powerful biographies, or religious scripture here, though admittedly both have the potential to evoke great personal change, but the humble novel. Perhaps it’s a stupid question. Most people, after all, would answer yes; literature carries with it that special sort of magic which, on its smallest scale, can move a reader from apathy, to elation, to abject grief, and to all manner of sentiment in between. Some pieces go further than just triggering a cascade of changing emotion through their course, and have the added ability to elicit a change in outlook by their close as well.

But what about challenging the type of reader you are though, and changing the way it is you read?

(Part discussion, part book review. Spoilers within.)

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The Widow – Fiona Barton

“He wasn’t there to provide for her anymore. Or to stop her talking.”

Barton’s ‘The Widow’ tells the tale of Jean Taylor and husband Glen. He is the accused, and she is the loyal wife, quiet at his side as his name is tarnished and reputation sullied. Until, that is, the day she finds herself alone. With Glen gone, suddenly it’s her turn in the spotlight, and all those unanswered questions from the past are back and knocking on the door.

(This review may contain spoilers.)

(Major plot spoilers and the ending aren’t mentioned though.)

(Still not sure if you should read on? In that case, read the book then get back to me.)
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