LR#27: “The Pocket Wife” by Susan Crawford

22635867This story concerns Dana and the murder of her neighbour. Dana wakes from a drunken afternoon unable to recall if she killed the neighbour. Her state of mind is fragile and we are witness to her mental breakdown as the investigation continues.

I struggled to enjoy this book and found it difficult to summon the will to continue with it. I began it on February 19th and didn’t finish reading it until March 25th. Even with February being a short month, that is still far too long for a book with a little over 300 pages.

I thought the writing style was quite good and easy enough to read; it was simply that the characters, with the possible exception of detective Jack Moss, were very hard to like or  engage with. Each one came across as distasteful, mean spirited, and simply unlikable and I found myself not caring about them as a result. In fact, I thought the depiction of the relationships between them, husbands and wives, neighbour to neighbour, parent and child, to be quite depressing.

I don’t know if the depiction of Dana’s mental fragility is accurate, the writing seemed to portray a confused and paranoid mind, but I couldn’t find much to like about her.

Having said that, I was determined to persevere with it and, in doing so, found the last 10-15% to be a little reward for struggling through the previous pages.

The writer is obviously talented, her poetry and short stories have won her awards, but I didn’t really enjoy this, her first novel. Would I give her another try? I don’t know for sure. At this stage, I would have to say no.


My Rating: 1.5* out of 5.0*


Published by Faber & Faber

Susan Crawford website.

Follow Susan Crawford on Twitter

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