This was a book received for review from the wonderful http://www.lovereading.co.uk.
I’m always sceptical about the proclamations of brilliance that accompany many book blurbs, but ‘Unravelling Oliver’ deserves every one of them.
Liz Nugent’s carefully crafted sparse eloquence begins with the opening sentence of ‘I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her’ and continues to the very last word. Told from the perspective of a range of characters, opening and closing with Oliver himself, each chapter gives their first person perspective and adds to the reader’s understanding (or unravelling) of Oliver whose life the narrative explores. For a book that can be read in just a few hours, there is such a precision of writing that no word is out of place or unnecessary so that the reader is drawn in to the events highly effectively and given a thorough understanding, not just of Oliver but all the others in this tragic and moving story.
Although it may not seem a flattering comparison, I felt this book was like dry rot – its fingers spread throughout the plot and enmesh the reader and the characters together so that there is no escaping the power of the writing.
I’d thoroughly recommend reading this – whether you are a reader or an author. Less is definitely more.