Search This Blog

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Unraveling Oliver | Book Review

Unraveling Oliver

Written by: Liz Nugent
Number of Pages: 258

Average Rating: 3.83 / 5 stars
My Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Published: February 6, 2018
Read in May 2018

Summary According to Goodreads

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease - until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma. 

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbours, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

My Thoughts

I received an e-arc copy of this novel to review from NetGalley, but that does not influence my opinion.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book, since I didn’t really like it but I also couldn’t stop reading it. I was never truly sucked into the story, and didn’t find any mystery or thrill. Reading this novel was very much like reading a true-life story or even a psychological assessment; a little dull but an interesting message overall. 

There were many different perspectives and time frames described in this book, and some of them I enjoyed more than others. My opinion on Oliver didn’t change too much through the histories revealed, but instead I developed an understanding for his motives. He is generally an unlikeable character, and I couldn’t find myself caring about his life. 

My biggest complaint about this novel would have to be in the writing. I said earlier that I was never sucked into the story, but I also never felt any connection to the characters. Each chapter changes perspectives, giving us background on Oliver throughout the years, but I didn’t find any of them to have a distinctive voice.

Overall, this was just alright and I decided to give it two stars instead of one because it was a quick read regardless of my boredom. It wasn’t awful, but I didn’t take anything away from it either. There wasn’t anything shocking about it, since you know from the very beginning that Oliver kills his wife and everyone around him can’t believe it. t went into it expecting something more thrilling or mysterious, and am a bit disappointed with what I got. 

1 comment:

  1. I had to give it a lot of thought. I did my review straight away, and I'm pretty sure I gave it five stars, mostly because I loved the way it was delivered. But I agree. It was difficult to get the characters. They needed more depth. I like the whydoneit style, and this was the first I read like that, which is probably why I loved it so much, but it could have used something more. I can see why this wouldn't work, and I should probably reassess my review.