Pain is still pain, no matter how unreasonable.-Louise Doughty.
This is a book I was excited to read as I have never really read anything like it, but I am sad to say I was pretty disappointed.
The novel begins with Lisa Evans, stuck on platform 7 as an invisible ghost after dying there over a year ago. It is told from only her perspective, however a plethora of characters are put on display, and they each have storylines for themselves. As the story moves forward, you discover more about how Lisa herself came to be there, and what links her to other deaths that occur, like hers, on the railway. You progress through her life prior to her death, exploring relationships, health, and the expectations upon her as a woman in her late thirties. You discover that perhaps her demise might not have been what began as a predicted suicide. I should give a content warning for domestic abuse, as it is a major theme of the book.
I won’t lie, I have little positive to say about this book. It boasts only 400ish pages, however it took me fooorevvverrr to finish it. Overall, I found the writing pleasant, and nice to read, but the actual overarching storyline was just so dULL. Doughty’s voice did portray the important themes of the book well, in a harsh yet delicate way that was interesting to read at times, however, the writing failed to capture me, and I never felt compelled to pick the book up.
Everything within it just felt so… insubstantial. By the end nothing really led anywhere. All the other characters we followed other than the main protagonist never really meant anything. It seemed as if they were used to show the impact of Lisa’s death on others, but so many of them had storylines that had nothing to do with her, and I found it often hard to follow as well as unnecessary.
In my opinion, I do think that the story accurately presented the sticky realities of an abusive relationship, and it was very successful in making you feel as trapped and conflicted as Lisa did. All in all, the story felt like it was meant to have a lot of meaning, but that meaning was not expanded upon enough to give it any clarity. It just felt as if the author had intended to do so many things with this story, but never quite executed it.
I don’t really have a lot more to say upon this book. I just found it predictable and a chore to read. It had a lot of potential, and I think if Doughty had had a really good editor to pick out exactly what she wanted to say, and added some clever and thought-provoking elements, it could have been phenomenal. Still, I don’t think this is a book you need to be rushing to read.
Anywayz, peace out Homiez