Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Other Half of Me by Morgan McCarthy

From Amazon - “What good can the past do the living? What harm?” Growing up in their family’s ancestral home in Wales, Jonathan Anthony and his little sister, Theo, are inseparable. Together they explore the wild acres of Evendon, inventing magical worlds and buttressing each other against the loneliness of life with their alcoholic mother, Alicia, and a shifting cast of gossiping cooks and maids. When a family tragedy brings their glamorous grandmother, Eve, home from America, Jonathan and Theo are initially elated by the attention she lavishes on them. But soon it becomes clear that there is more to the Anthony family history than either Eve or Alicia will acknowledge, trapping Jonathan and Theo in a web of dark secrets that have haunted Evendon for generations.

The debut of The Other Half of Me captivated me with it's beautiful prose and dark secrets.  Jonathan and Theo are youngsters who live with ther mother and nanny.  Their mother's best friend is a bottle of gin and she can't be bothered with the children.  The nanny who takes care of them really doesn't want to be bothered either.  But Jonathan and Theo have one another.

When their mother collapses, their grandmother Eve retrieves them and raises them.  Although the children have been told their father died, and that is why he wasn't around, little Theo doesn't believe it.  In fact, that belief sticks into her mind until it's almost a reality as she matures.  Jonathan, who has always kept a close eye on his younger sister, worries about her.

The Other Half of Me reminded me of an old gothic tale.  Set in beautiful Wales, the writing is exquisite.  The scenes are dramatically drawn without weighing down the reader with a bunch of elaborate details.  I think I enjoyed the characters of Jonathan and Theo when they were children much more than I did as they got older.  However, I was driven to keep turning the pages.  I wanted to know the family secrets and how life would turn out for Theo and Jonathan.  The story is told from Jonathan's perspective and I thoroughly enjoyed his take on everything.  If you're seeking a new author to try, pick up The Other Half of Me - it's a haunting and suspenseful novel that will intrigue you.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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