Friday, February 5, 2010

19 - Wish Her Safe At Home; Stephen Benatar










Wish Her Safe At Home; Stephen Benatar

It is the 1980's and Rachel Waring is a middle-aged woman with a life no one would envy. She lives in London with an awful roommate, she's stuck in a dead end job, has never married, and her parents have died. Imagine Rachel's surprise when she learns she has inherited an old but beautiful mansion in Bristol from a great aunt.

When she sees the place, she decides she has nothing to lose by packing up her things, leaving her dead end job and moving to Bristol. She thinks that things have to improve, and that maybe this is just what she needs to change her image and change her life. It doesn't take too long for things to take a downward slide once she moves to Bristol. She begins to do some research on a former occupant of the mansion from the 18th century, and she purchases a painting of who she believes is the former occupant, and begins to call him her housemate.

MY THOUGHTS: The author, Stephen Benatar, did an amazing job getting inside Rachel Waring's head. The writing is terrific. The story is told from Rachel's point of view, as she is slipping into a happy kind of madness. I really like Rachel, and felt sorry for her. To me, Rachel was like that neighbor or coworker we all may have run into at some point in our lives: quirky, socially inept --everyone else seemed to see Rachel as rather pathetic, yet harmless, but Rachel was oblivious to how others responded. I loved the story itself; it was very different from anything I've read lately. I was never really sure when an event was actually happening or just taking place inside of Rachel's head. I might have rated this book a bit higher, but I found parts of the story seemed to drag, even though the book was only 263 pages. Despite this, I feel the book was a worthwhile read and I am glad that I read it. RECOMMENDED (4/5 stars)

(Review copy received through the Amazon Vine program)

24 comments:

  1. Gothic novels never go out of vogue, do they.

    Have you done any Vine reviews yet? If so, which one(s)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like an interesting story. I'm surprised it takes place in the 1980's because the cover looks so old fashioned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really want to read this! Ordinarily I don't like descent-into-madness books, but this sounds like a very gentle descent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds like an interesting story, Diane. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I work with a person who is a lot like the character in this one. Sounds pretty interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  6. At first, I thought this was going to be a chick lit book based on the inital description ... but it doesn't sound like ti.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The story sounds interesting, but the cover really turns me off from the book. Maybe it's just me though, I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Charlie...recent Vine reviews were: Secrets of Eden, One Amazing Thing, Alice I Have Been and Guilded. (Those are the ones I can think of off hand).

    ReplyDelete
  9. This one looks just like something I would like .. all that madness and trying to come out of it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Alyce, This is one of those good examples of : "Don't judge a book by it's UGLY cover"...LOL

    It's because she does a lot of imaging of herself in an earlier era.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, I have just added this one to my list!

    I love stories about quirky, socially inept people! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm so glad you read and reviewed this book! I got it through Vine last year. I'm sorry you didn't love it as much as I did, but I am glad that you enjoyed it and had basically the same reaction to it as I did.

    I actually think the cover is spot on for the story. It makes perfect sense once you read it, but I agree it is pretty misleading in terms of what you'd think the book to be about when you see it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Is it 'gothic-y?' It reminds me a bit of Laura? Have you seen the movie or read the book? I'll see if the library has this book. I think more people have a sort of madness than we are aware of.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Aarti...I agree the cover is misleading. You look at it and think historical romance (at least I did). You were the one that made me read this one sooner instead of later, and I am glad I did...poor Rachel :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds like a modern version of Oliver Onions' classic ghost story, The Beckoning Fair One, with a female protagonist instead of a male one.

    ReplyDelete
  16. ArtSparker, I have not heard of the book that you mentioned, but now plan to check it out; thanks so much for stopping by and mentioning this book.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have had this on my list for awhile so I am really glad to hear it is good.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What is up with that cover? Very Joan Crawford-ish.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Steph...you need to read it for yourself and then you'll understand why....LOL

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nan, I have not read Laura --need to check it out. Yes, it is a bit Gothic - like.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think this book sounds very intriguing. The cover through me off when you said it was set in the 1980s but I really liked your review and am going to add it to my wishlist!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sounds like an interesting main character!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have this book on my stack and will be so excited to get to it! I have heard that Benatar does amazing things with this story and that it is a wonderful read. Glad to hear that you mostly liked this one!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I hadn't heard of this one. Sounds like I would like it.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)