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Heartstones by Ruth Rendell - Review

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Margaret at my book club lent this book to me. She and I don't have similar choices in books at all, but she did choose Little Boy Lost which I ended up really loving. She brought this to the Christmas meeting for me because "it's about young people" and she thought I'd like it, which was very sweet of her! I picked it up almost immediately so that it would be ready to give back to her in January.

I've never read anything by Ruth Rendell although my dad loved her stuff, so her novels were always around in our house when I was little. So I was interested to read this novella.

The main character is Elvira, who lives in a university town with her family, in a haunted house near the town's cathedral. On the streets outside are the titular heartstones, cobbled stones. Elvira lives with her sister, Spinny, and their father Luke. Their mother is dead. Elvira is obsessed with Luke, in a very incestuous way. Spinny sees ghost cats in the house and is never settled. Elvira is immediately suspicious when Luke hosts a dinner party and introduces the girls to Mary, a fellow professor.

He tells the girls that he plans to marry Mary. Elvira is immediately jealous and plots to get rid of her. On a visit to the cathedral, Mary falls to her death; is Elvira guilty or not?

This is a really sickening and gothic little book, it really intrigued me and I really enjoyed it. An unexpected book, but I'm really glad I read it!

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