Saturday, 24 June 2017

I Let You Go - Clare Mckintosh

Bless the perfect weather
that let me read outside in the sun!

As you might be aware, I went to Helsinki some time back when Clare Mackintosh was being interviewed and signing in Akateeminen kirjakauppa! It was really cool because she seemed really nice and down to earth, and she made this book sound really interesting. So I hope you'll forgive me for talking about that a lot because it's not very often I get to meet a big author!! I was super excited to read this so I started it the next day and finished it within 24 hours for the 1st Reading Marathon of this summer!

I Let You Go is Clare Mackintosh's debut novel. It's a psychological thriller that centers around the hit-and-run of a five-year boy and its investigation. There's also Jenna, who, having lost her son, leaves to Wales to start over and to try and live with the grief. There's many important themes to the book; the loss of a child, abusive relationships and the question: how could someone live with themselves after killing a small child child?

She was kind of dressed like a crime author which I
thought was really cool too, haha
The chapters are mostly from the point of view of Ray, a police officer working on the case, and Jenna. Ray has his own problems; his marriage is suffering from his long hours and his teenage son is acting up in school. On top of that, the hit-and-run case and getting justice for the dead boy doesn't really seem to be getting anywhere. Jenna, on the other hand, has her own difficulties trying to forget what happened. She finds it difficult to connect with people, because her son was her whole world. There's also parts from the point of view from the point of view from an abusive partner, which I found very eerie. The relationship evolved in these parts and despite how horrible they were, it was also incredibly captivating to read.
She was so nice and actually asked
about my studies too! She said it was a
very sensible degree! :D

All of the characters in this book felt (surprisingly) very likeable to me. Their struggles felt very real, but they were all working through them instead of just giving up.

Mackintosh worked as police officer in Oxford herself, but she quit so that she could be a better mum. When she was being interviewed, she mentioned that she maybe related to Ray most. She also said that a lot of crime novels, which she reads a ton of, have unlimited resources and quick solutions. For her, this book also felt like a way of dealing with the frustrations of working in the field.

Here's something about the translation that's not very important but that I found very interesting regardless: it talks about things like 'Co-op, the grocery store' and 'Labour, the political party', which amused me greatly since I'm used to living in the UK and taking these things as granted. So it was pretty cool to see it from a more of an outsider view with this Finnish translation. On the other hand, the translation wasn't flawless; it references the Finnish upper secondary finals as if that was the same as A-levels, and it's definitely not. Sometimes it also talked about miles per hour and then about kilometres per hour... then again, so do the British, I suppose. And really, this is all very small stuff.

Anyway, I gave this 5/5 because I just enjoyed it and I have nothing to complain about much. Even though I know the hook now that I've read it, I still want to read it again. I liked the characters and I loved how some of the plotlines were resolved so delicately I almost missed it.

For the Helmet 2017 reading challenge I put this in category 24: A book about solving a crime!

I bought the second book too, though it's not been liked as much as this, generally. And my copy is in Swedish. Regardless, I'll try and read it... within this year, hopefully! I Let You Go definitely left me craving for more.

PS. I centered this post - does that look better? I kind of think it does.

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