Author: Julia Leigh
Release Date: November 25, 2008
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the front flap:
When Olivia arrives at her mother’s chateau in rural France with her two young children in tow, it is the first time she has been home in more than a decade. Soon, the family is joined by Olivia’s brother Marcus and his wife, Sophie – but the reunion is far from joyful. After years of desperately wanting a baby, Sophie had just given birth to a stillborn child , and she is struggling to overcome her devastation. Meanwhile, Olivia wrestles with her own secrets about the cruel and violent man she married many years before. Exquisitely written and reminiscent of Ian McEwan and J.M. Coetzee, Disquiet is a darkly beautiful and atmospheric story that will linger in the mind long after the final page is turned.
Disquiet is the perfect name for this little novella. It gives the reader the uneasy sense of a Victorian gothic mystery though it is set in the present day. It has a haunting quality that is difficult to explain, but it lingers in the background throughout the book. It creates an atmosphere that sets the tone for the book perfectly.
Disquiet is a mere glimpse into the lives of Olivia’s family; the way the story is told and the characters are drawn, the reader gets the distinct impression that their lives continue on after the last pages are turned. Though none of the characters are fully fleshed out, they are very well developed for this being such a short book.
Julia Leigh is a wonderful writer. Her prose is rich but she isn’t wordy; her words get right to the point. There’s something stark but beautiful about it. The writing manages to convey the raw emotion of the story, bringing it to another level entirely.
I know this is a really short review, but Disquiet is a small book and I don’t want to give anything away! Suffice it to say, after reading a few disappointing books in a row, Disquiet broke the streak. It was the book I needed to be reading when I was reading it, and a book can’t get much higher praise than that.