The Unravelling by Liz Treacher

Thank you to the author, publisher and Love Books Tours for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Here’s the blurb: ‘Witty insight, and characters we can relate to’ – Helen Sedgwick, author of The Comet Seekers.

‘A cappuccino.’ He spoke clearly but slowly, as if he were a stranger here.
‘One shot or two?’
He gazed at me with thinly veiled contempt. ‘Oh, you only get one shot.’

For Ella Aldridge, a brilliant Classics student, life was supposed to be exciting. Thirty years on, she’s stuck in the suburbs in a boring job and a failing marriage. Even her daughter, the one she gave it all up for, seems distant.

But a sinister encounter on platform three is about to change everything. Under the watchful eye of a shadowy ticket inspector and his mysterious associate, Ella finds herself spiralling into a murky underworld where portentous signs appear from nowhere, thoughts are stored on memory sticks and speeding express trains may be more than they seem. As she begins to lose her grip on reality, Ella embarks on an extraordinary journey that touches everyone around her, forcing her to confront the biggest question of all.

By turns poignant, chilling and tinged with dark humour, The Unravelling is a novel full of heart and beauty, about the myth and magic of everyday life, and the sacrifices we make for what really matters.

Here’s my review: Ella’s life is mundane and when strange encounters begin to occur, it is a shock to her system. The loneliness of both Ella and her daughter’s marriages are the backdrop of the story and I truly felt for them at times.

I disliked the men in this novel, who without any violence or abuse had their ways of threatening Ella: being too close, too distant, too judgemental, too invasive. I felt smothered by Ella’s neighbours and this delighted me in a perverse sort of way, as the author made it feel so real despite the sense of unreality throughout Ella’s experiences.

I whizzed through this book, a little like whizzing round on the waltzers, feeling the nauseating sense of a blurred reality slipping by. I thoroughly enjoyed this dizzying, thought provoking read! 4/5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.