SPOILER: This is part of my Currently Reading series, where I write my thoughts on books while reading them. These posts contain spoilers for the chapters mentioned in the title, so continue reading at your own discretion.
These chapters where we get to see Reuben are very deceitful not only in terms of concealing the plot twist, which I suspected since mid-way through. It completely creates an escapist calm atmosphere. The portrayal of Reuben for the most part is relaxing in a way and gives hope towards a “happy” ending, so to speak. He is a likeable character, until the sex scene, which felt very uncomfortable for me to read and helped make the transition from a hopeful tone to a tragic one.
By now, James has gone completely insane and tries to commit double suicide, and the ending fully shows the degree to which he tortured Peggy, psychologically in this instance. Of course there’s the physical aspect, which is outright shocking. It’s not something I haven’t encountered before, but it affected me deeply in this book. The setup of the relationship is pure and, while he is clearly irresponsible and fails to see the implications in his decisions to bring his daughter into his isolation, getting such a complete and colourful picture of the world and of the story from Peggy’s eyes adds so much to the ending.
I am lost for words when talking about the ending of this novel. Reading it I grew more and more certain of the way things would turn out, and I kept wishing I was wrong. I really did care about this character, which is a rarity for me. But I understand and I wouldn’t change the ending, otherwise it would be anticlimactic, and the very last paragraph shows how deep the psychological damage is. She is still unable to fully accept reality, even when confronted with it.
This is one of the best books I have read in recent years, and I’m very happy to have found it. Let me know what you thought about it.