Book Reviews

The Spaces in Between: the most dangerous lies are the lies we tell ourselves... by Collin Van Reenan

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List Price: £8.99

 

Paperback: 288 Pages.

Published: 15 February 2018 by RedDoor Publishing Ltd

ISBN: 191045348X

EAN: 9781910453483

Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is too obey the lifestyle of the Victorian household and not to leave the house's grounds. It should have solved all his problems...

The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder - if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Unusual

This is one of those really strange books which stayed with me for days after I had finished it. There are several ways to look at the events in this book and once finished was left with questions - not because the book was incomplete but because there were parts of it open to interpretation.

Nicholas is an impoverished student in 1968 Paris. There are student riots, his visa is out of date, the university is closed due to the riots and he can't get a job. He is doing the 1968 version of sofa surfing. However a friend spots a job in the paper which could be ideal - working as a tutor. All expenses paid and a live in position. Ideal for three months until he gets himself back on his feet. However, he finds himself in a very strange house with a very strange student. Nothing is as it seems and Nicholas really doesn't understand what he has got drawn into.

I liked this book very much. I enjoy well written books which are a bit out of the ordinary which nicely sums up this one. Nicholas is a fairly standard student with some not terribly nice traits - a fact which he admits to. He is so relieved to find a way out of his predicament that he really doesn't take the time to assess the people or the situationĀ  in the house. He allows things to happen that he really shouldn't.

The characters in this book are quite complex and no one is who they seem to be. Anya the administrator who seems to be Nicholas' friend but then again perhaps not - is she drugging him? Madame Lilli the strange psychic who Nicholas finds intimidating. Then there is Natalya, his student, who seems like a child one minute and a very sensual adult the next. Who is the mysterious Grand Duchess who never appears? Who is Tatania who does appear at Nicholas vulnerable moments? Each of the characters has well written and intricate personalities.

I won't explain the plot. Each reader needs it to unfold in front of them. Keep your wits about you & see if you can work out what is really happening to Nicholas........

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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