My House – Alex Hourston
This book was bought for Holiday, however was read before I had even made it to the airport! It was a nice read with some themes which where interesting and that had not been covered in previous fiction books I have read. The book was based around the theme human trafficking however also considered alcohol abuse, a mothers temper, family break ups and a child been taken from her mother at birth from her farther!!
Maggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’
Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a brutal trafficker.
But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive.
Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but quickly insinuates herself into Maggie’s life.
As her relationship with Anja intensifies, Maggie begins to reveal, in increments, what it is she has been hiding. As a picture of her past takes shape, we are drawn into a slippery moral maze in which every choice is compromised. Maggie’s account is faithful, but she will keep you guessing about what really happened until the very end
I thought that this book was going to be more about he incident itself and was shocked to see that the author had skipped over this so quickly. I felt that Alex could have brought more to the trafficking incident as i didn’t feel it was explained fully. However Alex nicely described the insular life of Maggie the main character and i felt as a reader you really understood Maggie’s ‘quiet life’.
The relationship between Maggie and Anja was odd.. (I thought) and i did not like Anja. I recognised that her character had gone through huge hardship however i felt she was overly comfortable in Maggie’s house. I thought that Anja took advantage of Maggie’s kind nature and was selfish in a few moments throughout the book. However it was nice to read a story of 2 people helping each other out.
I enjoyed the way Alex explained the life of Maggie through narration at different parts of the book, drip feeding important aspects of her history. (SPOILER) The moment you find out she slaps her own daughter is quite a poignant moment, which shocks and surprises you.
The final part of this book (SPOILER) was a nice surprise, although Anja was selfish to contact her daughter it was nice to see that Maggie would no longer be a lone wolf but have contact finally with her daughter.
Overall I think it was a great read and thank Alex for a relaxing couple of days before my holiday!!