The Discomfort of Evening — Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Discomforting it is. This is a wild and frankly disturbing novel. Set on a farm in the Netherlands, it’s about a pre-teen girl and how she and her family cope (or, rather, don’t) after the death of her brother.

I rattled through it, but at a few points I felt like putting it down. There’s loads of vivid, gross imagery (I often read when I’m eating, which didn’t help). But I also found Jas, the narrator, quite hard work. Having a child’s perspective definitely is part of what makes it compelling, but her overactive imagination and the language at times felt a bit hard going.

Basically, I think it’s good. It’s almost exactly my kind of thing — but just that bit too dark for me to really enjoy it.

Also: I absolutely love the cover (and I’m not ashamed to say it’s definitely a key part of my decision to buy it).

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