Literary Obsession: Alys, Always

Alys, AlwaysAlys, Always by Harriet Lane

After loving Harriet Lane’s disturbing second book, Her, I decided to add Alys, Always to my reading list.

Frances is a thirty-something lowly sub-editor, but her routine, colourless existence is disrupted one winter evening when she happens upon the aftermath of a car crash and hears the last words of the driver, Alys Kyte. When Alys’s family makes contact in an attempt to find closure, Frances is given a tantalising glimpse of a very different world: one of privilege and possibility. Frances dares to wonder whether she might now become a player in her own right…

First Impressions: Very readable! The opening pages get right into the accident and Frances’ involvement.

Highlights: Harriet Lane builds a very understated sense of anticipation. What is Frances going to do next? How far can she push it? All the characters were believable and Frances’s actions never seemed far fetched. I also enjoyed reading about her family as well as the media industry she worked in. Frances’s stay at the Kyte’s summer home was also a highlight. The final paragraphs were simple yet perfect.

If I was an editor: I would hope for a bit more hijinks on Frances’s part to comfortabley label this a thriller. While it is an intriguing read, it needed more twists in Frances’s character to be a true thriller.

Overall: Not a thriller, but a very good read.

Alys, Always: 4 Stars

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