Book Review: The Book of You by Claire Kendal
May 11, 2014 8 Comments
From the publishers: “His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go.
Clarissa’s only escape from this harrowing nightmare is inside a courtroom—where she is a juror on a trial involving a victim whose experiences eerily parallel her own. There she finds some peace and even makes new friends, including an attractive widower named Robert, whose caring attentions make her feel desired and safe. But as a disturbingly violent crime unfolds in the courtroom, Clarissa realizes that to survive she must expose Rafe herself. Conceiving a plan, she begins collecting the evidence of Rafe’s madness to use against him—a record of terror that will force her to relive every excruciating moment she desperately wants to forget. Proof that will reveal the twisted, macabre fairy tale that Rafe has spun around them . . . with an ending more horrifying than her darkest fears.”
The Book of You: What I thought
A very good read, scary from the start. Not that Rafe, the stalker, is doing anything threatening, but he’s just so creepy. He follows Clarissa around, knows exactly where she will be at certain times. Only the court room where she is a juror in a court case is a place where she can escape him.
I found the guy so creepy and unbelievably persistent. Thinking about it, I could not imagine anyone to be that openly a stalker, but in the story, it did feel believable. A little less believable was the fact that Clarissa didn’t want to take any action (e.g., go to the police) until she had a good case against Rafe. She had read in some leaflets about stalkers what you needed to do before going to the police. I thought she was taking that a step too far. It made the story unnecessary scary because Rafe, meanwhile, does become threatening. Also, why didn’t Clarissa go online to talk with other victims of stalkers or ask for advice?
Even so, the story is an engaging read. I had to know how this would end. The court case is about a woman who is a victim of men in a different way, and the statements from the victim and the witnesses have an impact on how Clarissa sees her own case. The scenes in the court room are moments of reflection for Clarissa and time away from Rafe. For the reader, these moments of relative quiet were also pleasant. They slowed down the main story, but not in an annoying way. It was interesting to see how Clarissa thought about the trial.
According to the publisher, this is a book for readers who loved Before I Go to Sleep, The Silent Wife, and Into the Darkest Corner. I read the first and the last, and I do agree. If you liked those, you’ll love this one, too.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good to very good)
Number of pages: 368
First published: 2014
I got this: from the publishers, Harper