Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah

Lately I haven't had much time to read books as voraciously as I used to so I have been extremely particular with what books I allow to occupy my limited time. The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah is one of the books I decided to read based on it being described as a woman's ascent into madness with horror elements in it. The first part is quite true but the second half of that assessment is very far from the truth. 

The Orphan Choir is narrated by Louise. A woman who is driven mad by the insane thumping of her neighbors music at odd hours of the night. To make matters worse, she's convinced he's doing it intentionally. All she wants is a little peace and quiet so she can go back to complaining about the loss of her son Joseph who boards at a prominent school where he's a member of the Saviour Choir. Before long, Louise hears her sons choir and can't understand why she deserves such torture.

In an effort to get away from her noisy neighbor in Cambridge, Louise moves with her husband Stuart to a quiet slice of heaven of England's countryside. Ultimately, Louise finds that quite possibly the music she's hearing may in fact be in her head. Could she be missing her son so much that she can't get the choral music out of her head, or is something more sinister at play?

Honestly, I was not in love with this novel for a good while. It's an easy, engrossing read yet the narrator takes some getting used to. I could have maybe appreciated this novel more had I not gotten in her head. Ironic, huh? Seriously, she complains about everything. To top off her complaining, she whines to no end about how much she misses her son who's away at the boarding school. 

What ultimately saves this novel for me is the ending. I was ready to write this one off as just another novel with not much going on but... I feel it ends perfectly. Sophie Hannah pretty much owed me for wasting so much time and energy on Louise that the ending needed to make up for it big time. I liked the ending and yes, it does supply that horror feel the blurb suggests. 

My overall thoughts are that The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah was not bad at all. I only wish there was a starring character I could actually want to be in the same room with. The Orphan Choir is a fast read and may appeal to fans of psychological suspense. Overall, I would like to read more by this author so long as I get a little more horror and a lot less Louise.  ***

Copy Provided by Picador USA via Netgalley

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