This is a love story. Mike’s love story.
Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.
It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.
It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…
I won an early copy in a giveaway sweepstakes hosted by the publisher FSG
While I was reading Our Kind of Cruelty I seriously contemplated throwing the book across the room. I really did. I was SO tempted. This story was infuriating and problematic for me. It was infuriating and problematic to me because this bullshit REALLY does happen! This story could easily be seen in the headlines across the world.
When I was about a 1/3 of the way into the novel I realized how my anger was slowly building up. It reminded me of the way I felt when I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Never in my life have I ever been furious while reading a book. When I finished that book I was infuriated and was convinced that it was the worst book ever. However, once the story settled for a few days I realized that any book able to evoke that much emotion from me was an extremely well-written book. Gone Girl started a huge trend in the publishing world of the unreliable narrator. Take it from me. Anything that contains an unreliable narrator will likely piss you off and make you want to throw a book. Nonetheless…even knowing this to be true…I still come back for more.
You are probably wondering to yourself what it was about this book that made me angry enough to want to throw the book across the room. I honestly forced myself to read it quickly because I was just eager to be done with it and move on to the next. The aspect of the story that angered me so was the trial. I will not give away the reason for a trial but I think it is very clear that Mike is not well so the fact that there is a trial is not at all surprising. The female character Verity is judged harshly for being sexually adventurous. Is Verity a likable character in this story? Hell no. I am still so confused by her character. I cannot confidently distinguish what her intentions nor can I tell what is true and what is not. Reading this book is like looking through clouded glass. I am not sure what I am actually seeing. Having said all of that my issue is that women are still judged harshly for what their sexual proclivities. The depiction of a woman’s sexual desire being on trial is what I take issue with.
So did I like this book? It was just okay for me. It is in no way on par with Gone Girl. The character of Mike is obnoxious and whiny to me. I cannot tolerate those kind of characters. Does it make you think? It does. Would it make for a great discussion? It would. I already have a few people lined up who will be reading and/or finishing it soon. The nature of this book calls for engaging discussion with others because books that have the ability to infuriate almost certainly make for great discussion.
Our Kind of Cruelty by Ararminta Hall is available now!