Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson

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This is a strange one. A bit like wandering through the fantastical mind fortresses of a young person in the throes of a hormonal rush and seeking the meaning of her life. Don’t most of us go through the phase of thinking we know it all and can rule the world?

Katherine is seeking answers about herself in the events of the past. Specifically in her parents’ past. Katherine Carlyle lives in a world of dreams, imagined scenarios and a vivid imagination. Sometimes it seems a little more than just the harmless daydreams of a well to do young girl.

Katherine is used to getting what she wants when she wants it. She hasn’t had to do without anything, except perhaps the attention of her father, since her mother passed away.

Katherine is obsessed by her conception. The fact she is an IVF baby makes her obsess about two things. Why her parents left her in a container for so long, and the repercussions of her birth. Guilt plays a major factor in her actions and her belief that Daddy doesn’t love her enough.

So she creates scenarios in her mind, the way she would like people to react and act towards her, which is in direct juxtaposition to her reality. Katherine puts herself in dangerous situations. Possibly because she wants to be rescued, actually she does want to be rescued, she just doesn’t realise it yet.

What she wants is for Daddy to prove how much she means to him by coming for her, by looking for her and for turning over every stone to find her. That’s all fine and dandy, well perhaps it is a wee bit adolescent, but for the fact Daddy doesn’t even know she is gone. Daddy is blissfully unaware of Katherine and her fantastical world of connections. Lucky him.

Katherine pushes the boundaries till the point of constant danger, and then she pushes some more. The end result is a nightmare. Some people would say an inevitable nightmare if you live in a bubble and believe you will always be safe just because you think and say you will.

As I said in the beginning, this was a strange one. I think it is one of those books that will mean a variety of things to different people depending on their own frame of reference.

Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of Katherine Carlyle.

Buy Katherine Carlyle at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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