First things first, I love Cecilia Ahern’s adult novels. This isn’t anything like, and it was interesting to see a writer focus on very different things. Some worked more successfully than others.
The novel opens with Celestine and her family at a dinner party. We see she is part of the ‘perfect’ society that is about to be brought down. Through Celestine we are encouraged to see the perceived benefits of the society in which she lives-at least while everyone follows the expected behaviours.
In the initial setting-up of this world I felt Ahern gave us just enough information to explain what was going on, though I was keen to know more about those characters who challenge it.
Very early on Celestine carries out an action that has far-reaching consequences. She helps someone. Not a big deal, other than the man is Flawed and her actions are punishable by the Guild (which just happens to be run by her boyfriend’s father).
At this point it would have been easy in reality for nothing to happen. However, Celestine shows her true character and refuses to toe the line. For showing compassion she is branded-a constant reminder to everyone of her ‘crime’.
What follows is disgusting. Here I think anyone in their right mind would have been outraged, but Celestine is so indoctrinated that she questions herself and what she has done to cause this action.
On occasion I felt the plot could have moved a little faster or focused on some of the more intriguing characters (I wonder if some of these ‘cameo’ appearances are setting the characters up for bigger roles in the next book). Carrick Vane is obviously going to be important, and it was more than a little frustrating to not really learn more about him until later on.
As I was reading, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s the kind of book that I will recommend to people and I will definitely be interested in finding out just where this goes in the next part. I need to see Craven brought down!
Thank you NetGalley for the advance copy – though I am really frustrated that I need to wait for the next part to find out the answers to what Celestine does next.