It wasn’t written in the usual way and yet I can’t say that the story didn’t entice me. It managed to get me to read this highly wildly structured novel. And managed to make it work.
The best part of the story lies in Harriet’s own thoughts. That to me was the biggest part. And also the running theme of how women are underestimated. Many think that they are not intelligent when it is wrong, they are incredibly so. And on the equal footing as men. Even down to who the murderer actually is.
It was a clever move. As much as I did guess it, given just how she had taken everything her husband thrown at her. As much as I realized that it was misguided. The best option was to recognize that her husband was a terrible person. But respectability meant that their husbands were untouchable and completely important if they were to survive.
And the only way to gain anything was to punish the woman. Such is the disparity of the times. As much as Harriet’s own situation was not her fault, she could not have been said to be a loose woman. She simply went from one horrible situation to another. Went from one man who used her and left her when it was right. And to another who had done the same.
The story did a fantastic twist on the idea of this. And gave an ending to an unsolved real mystery. Of a real woman who died under mysterious circumstances and whose real cause of death has never been known.
Although I have to admit reading from all the other perspectives was not nice. I believe that it could have been utilized better, perhaps to show the clues each of them have. And the uniting point. Because they all have a hand but don’t have the full truth.
Overall, this was really fulfilling to read, with a deep emotional journey. And the tale of a young woman who simply did her best in a terrible circumstance.
Rating: 4 out of 5