Book Review | The Book of You : a novel by Claire Kendal

book cover The Book of You : a novel by Claire KendalClaire Kendal’s first novel is a winner. The Book of You introduces us to Clarissa, a single woman in her 30’s, who is gainfully employed at a University. After a stressful, failed relationship with a professor colleague, she literally falls into bed with another colleague, Rafe. The evening does not go as she intends and Rafe becomes a constant, unwanted presence in her life, hiding in shadows, delivering unwanted parcels and popping up to whisper creepy things in her ear when she leaves her apartment. Clarissa is relieved to be assigned to a lengthy stint of jury duty and uses the courtroom for solace. She draws connections between the case of an abused woman and her own daily life. As weeks pass, Clarissa is in increasing danger while she attempts to gather enough evidence to present to the police before it’s too late.

From the beginning this was an interesting read. Kendal’s approach is unique, using alternating first and third person narrative. As Clarissa gathers evidence, she keeps a journal documenting the disturbing events set in motion by Rafe. These passages are written as if to Rafe, using the second person you subject (this is where the title comes from). Kendal does an excellent job giving life to her characters and the story. Her writing allows for a solid understanding of how a victim of stalking may feel. The story is not too predictable and certainly gets the reader thinking about what will happen. Check out this new release from a library near you.

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About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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