Louise Doughty is brilliant at writing about underlying resentment and the things we secretly notice about people but rarely articulate. I suspect she will remain best known for Apple Tree Yard but her latest novel ‘Platform Seven’ is a very effective domestic psychological thriller and likely to be another commercially successful one too. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Louise Doughty
I don’t have time to write full-length reviews of everything I read but here are some thoughts on other books I’ve read and (mostly) enjoyed over the last few months of 2015.
Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty
While I enjoyed reading Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty last year, I’m less sure of how I feel about ‘Whatever You Love’. Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award in 2010, it tells the story of Laura whose nine-year-old daughter Willow is killed in a hit-and-run accident on her way to an after-school club. The majority of the novel is a relatively straightforward account of the acrimonious breakdown of Laura’s marriage to her husband David and the aftermath of Willow’s death but it has the kind of shocking and rather implausible ending which changed my whole perception of the book. The last book I read which made me feel like this was Disclaimer by Renee Knight but probably more so with this one. While ‘Apple Tree Yard’ has a similarly unsettling conclusion, I felt it was executed much more successfully compared to ‘Whatever You Love’. Doughty’s latest novel ‘Black Water’ is out next year.
‘Apple Tree Yard’ by Louise Doughty tells the story of Yvonne Carmichael, a middle-aged geneticist who begins an affair with a man she meets while she is giving evidence to a Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament. It is revealed at the beginning of the book that the affair has been exposed in dramatic circumstances while Yvonne is on trial at the Old Bailey. However, even though it is clear that she is doomed from the beginning, the story behind how she became embroiled in the most serious of crimes and who her lover really is still offers many twists and turns.