Sunday, 16 August 2015

Review: The Offering by Grace McCleen

Title: The Offering
Author: Grace McCleen
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 25 June 2015
Pages: 272
Genre:Thriller, Suspense

 
It was the year when Madeline's family moved to an island her father believed God had guided him to. It was a place where she revelled in the natural beauty of their surroundings. It was a time of euphoria, but also of successive disasters. It was the night Madeline turned fourteen, when she did something she thought would save her beloved mother. Something so traumatic that she cannot now recall it, but her suave new psychiatrist thinks he knows how to unlock her memory. He is treading on very dangerous ground.
This is a pretty interesting story - it is beautifully written and just chock full of breathtaking descriptions of living in the countryside. The story is separated into five sections,
each named after the first five books of the Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This added a layer of religious symbolism to the story that I appreciated.

 I was dying to find out what exactly had happened to Madeline for her to end up with Amnesia and so desperately wanted to reach the conclusion of the story; however, I did find certain parts to be a bit too slow paced for me - but that may not be an issue for other people who like to relish rich descriptions of the environment and character observations. But oh my, when the conclusion of the story came it was not for readers faint of heart. I positively felt sick. 

I also like an explained back-story and why Madeline's family moved to 'The Island' or where indeed 'The Island' was located was never explained. Nor was it explained where they came from and why they moved there. It was all a bit vague and I didn't really understand what the point of it all was. This may have been purposefully done by the author in order to be as in the dark and confused as Madeline was as a child, but it maddened me.

Pros 

Beautifully written and poignantly structured
Page turner
Exploration of mental health issues

Cons 

A bit too slow paced in parts
Lack of description of why Madeline's family moved to 'the farm' on 'the island' - or where they had come from

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