Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Joy - Jonathan Lee - Guest review

I was surprised and delighted by Who Is Mr Satoshi?, the author's previous book, so I was very keen to read his next novel.

Joy is a joy. It is, in effect, rather a sad story but sadness is not the impression I was left with. Joy herself is a young lawyer, on the eve of being promoted in her company, when she decides to commit suicide. How she comes to fall from a balcony, not her intended end, and end up in hospital in a coma, is what this book is about. Her husband, Dennis, her colleague, Peter, Barbara, her PA and Samir, her hygiene-obsessed personal trainer, are followed through the book, displaying their knowledge (and lack of knowledge) of her, their own foibles, bitterness and ambitions. They are all forced to question what they have witnessed and their perception at the end of the story are vastly different from their original thinking and feeling.

The chapters are told in turn by the various characters, answering questions and revealing more of themselves than of Joy. Her own story is interspersed through the novel and is often in startling contrast to what the others think and believe.

It would be a shame to tell more. This book needs to be read and savoured. The style is a delight in itself, quirky and often actually funny, and the ending at once shocking and satisfactory.

Definitely a 5 star read for me.

Reviewed by Penny Waugh - guest reviewer

Many thanks to Penny for reading and reviewing this book for The Little Reader Library. 

Joy is published by William Heinemann

You can find the author on twitter @JonLeeWriter and visit his website here

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