Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Heart Bent Out of Shape- Emylia Hall

I must admit that I wasn't familiar with Emylia Hall until I was asked if I would like to read her latest novel A Heart Bent Out of Shape.  I think I must have been living in a cave during 2012 as her first novel, The Book of Summers, was a Richard and Judy pick.  Well, better late to the party than missing it altogether!

A Heart Bent Out of Shape follows Hadley Dunn on her year abroad in Switzerland.  Studying in the beautiful city of Lausanne she meets a true friend, Danish girl Kristina.  Everything seems blissfully perfect until tragedy strikes.  Hadley seeks comfort from her American Literature professor Joel Wilson, and as they try to solve the mystery of what happened they cross boundaries, boundaries that only complicate matters further...

I found A Heart Bent Out of Shape to be slow starting, and whilst I appreciate that it was necessary to set the scene and build up to the tragedy I was waiting for things to get going.  And get going it did- I was soon gripped by the mystery.  There were moments where I thought I had it sussed and then I'd doubt myself, other times where I felt completely in the dark, and I was keen to know exactly what had happened.

I liked the characters, particularly wise yet elusive Hugo, although found Hadley's naivety frustrating at times.  However, as a twenty year old away from home for the first time in a country where everyone is speaking a different language, perhaps Hadley is a realistic representation of a young woman setting off on the journey of finding herself.

The highlight for me were the absolutely beautiful descriptions of Switzerland that left me longing to be there.  Glistening snow, high-reaching spires and breath-taking vistas had me dreaming of Lausanne.  Emylia Hall transported me to a place I have never been, yet I feel I now intimately know.

A Heart Bent Out of Shape is available tomorrow (12.9.13), published by Headline Review.


With thanks to the lovely Ben at Headline for giving me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds interesting but I have a wee bit of an issue with slow starters of late, thanks for the review.