Hardback: £ 12.99
I was given Tom-All-Alone's by the lovely @CorsairPR as a read and review copy.
The minute you start reading this book you can see the Dickens influence. I wonder if it was no coincidence that it was released at the same time as celebrations started for Dickens' 200th birthday. The style of writing is great and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that on occasion the author/narrative voice yanked you back to the modern day and reminded you that the author/narrator and yourself are rooted in 2012 and not 1850. When this first occurred I was delighted to find that this did not annoy me! In retrospect I would think it would annoy me as it would remind me that I'm not in fact in the books/a character in the book/a spectator at the time of the events. I love to loose myself in a book and I managed to despite the occasional jolt from Shepherd.
Charles, Charles, Charles....I have fallen for him. What a delicious specimen he is! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I always end up falling in love with a character from which ever book I'm reading.
I didn't find myself waiting for Hester's narrative portions to be over, nor did I find myself anticipating them. Sometimes when a book is inter-spliced with a minor plot I am either desperate to finish it and move on to the main plot or get to it and find out what happens. I felt indifferent towards it. I think because it went a bit Bronte/Austen on your arse!
I enjoyed the plot, the Bleak House influence was very much there. It's far more dark, sinister, violent and in some places humorous (without being a parody) than Dickens' books and this was obvious from the start. This is another book with some gruesome and very distressing parts.
Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely!