All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Three Of Us by Kim Lock

on February 7, 2018

The Three Of Us
Kim Lock
Pan Macmillan AUS
2018, 416p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

A life lived in the shadows. A love that should never have been hidden.

In the small town of Gawler, South Australia, the tang of cut grass and eucalyptus mingles on the warm air. The neat houses perched under the big gum trees on Church Street have been home to many over the years. Years of sprinklers stuttering over clipped lawns, children playing behind low brick walls. Family barbecues. Gossipy neighbours. Arguments. Accidents. Births, deaths, marriages. This ordinary street has seen it all.

Until the arrival of newlyweds Thomas and Elsie Mullet. And when one day Elsie spies a face in the window of the silent house next door, nothing will ever be ordinary again…

In Kim Lock’s third novel of what really goes on behind closed doors, she weaves the tale of three people with one big secret; a story of fifty years of friendship, betrayal, loss and laughter in a heartwarming depiction of love against the odds.

This book was not the story I was expecting when I picked it up!

Thomas and Elsie are newlyweds, moving into their first home together in Gawler. It’s not modern day, so Elsie resigns from her job upon her marriage and her new role is to keep house for her husband and presumably, to become a mother when nature takes its course. This is not a role Elsie seems to adapt to or even seems suited to but at the time, it was the only role really available to her. It was what was expected – she also had to socialise with the wives of her husband’s work colleagues, joining knitting circles and bringing baked goods.

The house next door at first appears abandoned but one day Elsie spots a face in the window. It’s resident is reclusive, but slowly she and Elsie establish a friendship that will change all of their lives….in many ways.

This book is so hard to review. I loved it – more than I expected to and it took me a little while to realise that I was going to love it. I wasn’t sure that I was going to like the direction but the author completely surprised me with the way it went and I found it really interesting. I spent a lot of time internally debating things with myself. This is the perfect book for a book club and would be great to discuss with people but it makes it very hard to review because there’s lots I could talk about but I don’t want to for fear of spoiling things.

It’s set in the past and in a small country town and so there’s a completely different set of rules and societal regulations to consider, most of which are no longer applicable in this day and age but there’s definitely some that will still cause raised eyebrows, gossip and probable ostracisation. The way in which this book deals with those issues, in a time where it would be even more cause for local concern, is both sensitive and thorough. All of the characters wonder about what they are embarking on, how it affects other people, how it affects themselves. There’s a lot of thoughtful consideration, some back and forth but in the end, what they are doing is right for them without harming anyone. And that’s an interesting way to look on it that challenged my own thoughts and feelings on such things. I’m not particularly conservative, or at least I don’t think I am and reading this book made me examine that about myself. And come to some new conclusions on things.

That’s all very vague I know but I really did enjoy this book. It’s complex but not complicated, well written and really engaging. It’s quite a decent sized book but it never feels that way. The beginning of it sucks you in and makes you think hey, what’s going on, how did that happen? It’s set in the present day, some 50 years from when Thomas and Elsie marry and move into their new home, and then takes you back to ‘fill in the blanks’ so to speak. It makes you want to know more and get stuck into how this happened in such a time in such a place. There’s also a lot of looking at the choices or lack thereof that were available to women in the past and how they were somewhat helpless or reliant on men. Men made their decisions, kept them clothed and fed and quite often, exerted their will by force whether that be physical or not. This book definitely has women that were forced to accept the roles and rules enforced upon them by men but who also challenged them in different ways and were able to take what they wanted and what made them happy.

I wholeheartedly recommend people read this book! And then come and discuss it with me 😉

9/10

Book #24 of 2018

 

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2 responses to “Review: The Three Of Us by Kim Lock

  1. Excellent review. I just finished this last night…very tricky one to review without spoiling! Well done. 😊

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