I received a copy of Pretty Is in my goodie bag from Mumsnet Blogfest last year. It languished in my “to be read” pile for quite some time, until a couple of weeks ago when I picked it up, wondering what it was actually about… and then I found I couldn’t quite put it down!
Two twelve year old girls are abducted and driven across the country, where they’re imprisoned in a remote hunting lodge for two months. They spend a surreal summer with their captor, getting to know him and each other until one day, the police arrive and “rescue” them. They go back to their respective lives and lose contact with each other.
Years later, both girls have built new lives for themselves. One has written a fictional book based upon the abductions – under a pseudonym, while she works as a professor of literature. The other has changed her name and moved to LA to become an actress. When the book is made into a movie, their paths cross again.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; I could have kept on reading it indefinitely. I loved the way the story was told from the perspectives of the two women, and how they crossed and intertwined. It’s one of those books where you’re constantly expecting something bad to happen, there’s a constant tense undercurrent. The middle section is an extract from the fictional book one of the girls wrote, and it’s really gripping. I could barely put the book down from beginning to end; I thought it was great.
I was a little disappointed by the ending; I felt like the book was building to a crescendo all the way through… and then it was like someone threw a bucket of water over the actual ending. I don’t want to give away what it was, but I feel like it could have been done a little differently to end the book properly. As it was it felt like all that nervous energy just sort of disappeared, but there was nowhere for it to go – no big finale!
Despite the ending, I would still wholeheartedly recommend this book, just because it was such a great read.
Thanks for reading.