Monday, 9 May 2016

THE KINDNESS by Polly Samson

THE KINDNESS moves around a lot in time. This is not an easy thing to do, and Samson does not manage it. We see a relationship's beginning from its ending, and etc etc. Done well, this adds mystery and excitement. Done poorly, it just removes all narrative tension. So - yup. The main character, a man, is drunk and alone in his house reflecting on his failed marriage and the last days he had with his daughter who has some kind of unnamed terrible terminal illness. British authors do love a good childhood terminal illness. The book is described as a thriller, and guess what's supposed to be thrilling: apparently the child is not dead. The husband is just so upset with his wife that he decides to cut off both her and HIS OWN CHILD. Then at the end the child as a teenager comes to reconcile with the father and I guess it's supposed to be redemptive. In fact what happens is that you feel like the central character is sort of silly, and you hope this is not really the big reveal. But actually it is.

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