It was one of those books that resided on my Kindle forever. Since I started this blog a few years ago I tend to read a lot more paper books, only turning to my Kindle during vacation. Being a person of consistent habits I read this book during my February break in Tenerife.
The story has two timelines, one current and one taking place more than 30 years ago. In the current timeline, we meet Davey, a completely drunk teenager on a train journey. He clearly has run away from home, and his face indicates that it didn’t happen on peaceful terms. In rare moments of relative sobriety Davey tries to remember how he got to this specific point, but every time he gets too close to the memory of home he decides to go back to the safety of his drunken stupor.
In this state, he reaches a big, isolated house in the West Country. The three people living there, decide to take him in. As Davey sobers and mends he realizes that those three people are not a family, each of them ended in the house running away from something. What is more, they clearly don’t want anyone to ask questions about their past.
The second timeline takes place in the same house some thirty years earlier. The house is owned by a musician Jack Laker, fighting with addiction and writing block. He decides to pursue a relationship with a young actress, abandoning the woman who was taking care of him through his most difficult years.
Of course, both storylines come together, as we get to know each person’s background and what brought them to the house in the West Country. There is some thriller in this book, some coming of age story and some romance. It is decently written and readable, but it failed to move me. I read it like another one of the light reads, and possibly that was the intention. But it feels like only sliding on the surface of things and never reaching deeper in search of meaning. Oh, and the panther (yes, there is a panther in the West Country and not in a zoo) is a bit of overkill.
I didn’t love this book, nor did I hate it, but it’s probably not a good recommendation if I felt lukewarm. I did finish it though!
Have you read it?