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Mirrorland: the dark and twisty fiction debut from 2022's new voice in psychological suspense

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So much of Mirrorland began as Mum’s invention before El and I turned it into something else, something more than alive.

I was kind of flabbergasted that we got all of the wrap up in a monologue, as that feels like a big no no to me. When she finds herself back in the town she ran away from, in the house she grew up in, she resents El for making her come back. I didn’t find any of the main characters to be that likable, though, so I had trouble connecting with their stories.

I was compelled by Cat’s struggle to mine the fragments of her memories, and by the contrasting landscape of Cat and El’s make-believe world with the gradually revealed realities of their childhood. It’s twisty and intriguing, beautifully written and with a really clever plot that kept me guessing right up to the end, I loved it! Fans of Gillian Flynn's creeping dread and Liane Moriarty's nuanced morality and complex relationships should love this book.

Much of Mirrorland is devoted to the idea of how children use imaginative play to understand mature, adult situations. They grew up together and were close as children, playing secret games and feeling the other’s pain as if it was their own. I wasn’t even on the wrought-iron balcony of my California condo, looking out at the Pacific and drinking zinfandel and pretending I was exactly where I’ve always wanted to be.To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Behind it’s seemingly ordinary façade, 36 Westeryk Road is home to Mirrorland, a vivid make-believe world of populated by pirates, cowboys, and jailbirds- Bluebeard and Blackbeard, the brave and handsome Captain Henry, and the aptly named Mouse.

Rafiq is determined to solve the mystery of El’s disappearance; Cat is determined to solve the mystery of their past. Novelists like Emma Tennant and John Herdman were working that vein decades ago, and let’s not talk about Stevenson, Hogg and Scott. The only one that we really got to know was Cat, and she didn’t feel like she was reinventing the wheel when it comes to unreliable and tortured protagonists in stories like this one. The house was brilliantly imagined and I loved the floor plans at the start of the book, which really helped to bring the eerie building to life for me.

Her memories of the past are so twisted from reality that we as the reader never quite know what is truth and what is fiction.

A man in a long anorak is standing next to him, looking down and obviously speaking, but Ross isn't paying attention. I’m surprised we both had a similar rating and similar reactions to the way the author handled Mirrorland. The photo of El cuts to a reporter: young and earnest, probably still in her twenties, her hair whipping viciously around her head. It’s about twins Ellice (El) and Catriona (Cat) who as children are as close as can be but as adults have drifted apart with El remaining in their native Edinburgh and Cat moving to LA. Then back to the harbor, its bobbing round buoys and long pontoons and white sailboats with rattling masts.Pulford offers a vivid and accessible account that simultaneously places his observations into historical and political context, while also allowing the reader to experience, as a fellow traveller, his personal reflections. These are the questions that establish themselves early in the story and you are obsessed with turning the pages until you have the answers for them. Now, I can’t really talk about the plot because it would be so easy to give things away so this is probably going to be a little bit of a teaser of a review. To comply with FTC guidelines, I receive no compensation for the reviews or promotional content posted. Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link).

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