They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but lately I’ve just been picking books up at random based on whether or not I enjoy their covers. It’s not been too poor of a method as Foxlowe was a result of this experiment.
This time it is Quiet Neighbours by Catriona McPherson, a very intriguing read that leaves you turning the page wanting to know the real reason why Jude is brought to the boondocks of Scotland.
*Spoilers to be unveiled underneath*
Jude discovers a little bookshop while travelling in Scotland, and returns there following some disastrous events in London. We don’t know what has happened yet save for the fact that her parents have died. She has done something horrible; that is all we know.
She meets Lowell, an old man and the bookstore owner, and eventually Eddy, Lowell’s supposed long lost daughter. This motley crew of characters live together in Wigtown, along with persons related to Lowell’s father, Dr. Glen. Jude helps Lowell with the organization of the bookshop and in return lives in one of his cottages.
While sorting through books she uncovers a mystery surrounding some elderly people in the village, and receives threats including the burning of her cottage. Eddy assists her in snooping, and throughout the book they learn one another’s secret and the reason behind their appearance in the sleepy town.
The music at the beginning echoes what I picture Wigtown’s atmosphere to be.
I kept reading and reading because I wanted to know what disastrous things had happened in their lives. Turns out that Jude has been cheated on and she may have harmed her partner’s latest piece, while Eddy is unsure about her parentage and has a dubious situation surrounding the pregnancy. It all seemed so captivating (at points a little annoying that her flashbacks would end suddenly), but I got to the end and it felt as if McPherson hastily forced her characters to jump to conclusions in order to resolve plot lines, introduced characters suddenly near the end, and the resolution of the story was far too wholesome and unrealistic.
The editing within the book was also questionable at times, with words missing letters, turning “her” into “he”. In a book with characters of both sexes, this confused me as I had to ensure I knew which character was being discussed at that point within the story.
Overall, this story was gripping at the beginning but I grew a bit weary of the roller coaster ride in trying to decipher Jude’s backstory. The editing left a bit to be desired, and the ending was a serious let down. I did want to be able to recommend this book, I really did! But I’d suggest a miss if you’re looking for a great ending.
What have you been reading lately?