This was one of the authors that Kate @Crossexaminingcrime recommended I try. I listed others in this page. Since I wasn’t directed towards something specific, I was lucky to find this copy at my library.
The minute I stepped into the book, from the very first chapter, I could sense the complete exhaustion of our main character, Louise. She is sleep deprived and has been, for a while, thanks to the fact that her newborn son did not want to sleep during the nights. I also had the fleeting thought that only a woman with experience could have written such an immersive narration about the situation. I have seen second-hand how close relatives have juggled parenting in the early days (luckily enough now, this has been both parents) and I cannot imagine the mental pressure Louise is depicted as having.
Louise still has to get her girls to school, cook innovative meals and now ensure that the woman who has rented a room in their house is not disturbed by the crying baby! It seems Louise still has to get her girls to school, cook innovative meals and now ensure that the woman who has rented a room in their house is not disturbed by the crying baby! It seems quite understandable that even the slightest discomfort has Louise seeking out a more plausible explanation for the events that seem to be unfolding around her while she is constantly questioning her sanity. There is humour in the way the supporting cast are described, including the not-completely-terrible husband. Finally, it has to be said that I did not expect a more original version of the unreliable narrator that has been the craze the last couple of years in the ‘thrillers’ genre. I have not gotten along well with the newer books, mostly because I never end up siding with the narrator or even liking them enough to give the rest of the book a go. Louise, on the other hand, is a woman I could get behind, even if the bits about leaving a baby all alone at home while on a school run sounds shocking in this day and time of uber-surveillance. The ending seemed a little abrupt and reading it now, expected. It is not the fault of the book but the fact that similar plots are all the rage now.
I liked my foray into something different written based in a whole different period and I will be picking up more by the author if I get a chance.
2 thoughts on “The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin”
I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I believe the book was born out of real life experience, which shows in how realistically the psychology is depicted. I haven’t had a poor read yet by this writer. I have also really liked Listening in the Dusk, Appointment with Yesterday and The Long Shadow.
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I think that is mentioned in the about the author section but I had to mention it in the review 😆I will have to wait and search for the others, my library didn’t have any others 😄
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