Book Review: Scissors Paper Stone by Elizabeth Day

Charles Redfern is in a coma. As he lies motionless, his wife Anne and daughter Charlotte are forced to come together to confront their relationships with him- and with each other.Anne, once regarded as beautiful and clever, has felt herself disappearing for years, paling besides her husband's harsh brilliance. Anxious to fit in with the expectations of the people around her, she keeps her disillusionment buried inside, mechanically attending the endless round of drinks parties and dinners in her keenly social neighbourhood, and trying to ignore the guilt that trails behind her like a shadow.Charlotte, battling an inner darkness that threatens to overwhelm her, is desperate to prevent her relationship with not-yet-divorced Gabriel from disintegrating through her own self-sabotage.As the full truth of Charles's  hold over them emerges into the light, both women must come to terms with the choices they have made, and the uncertainty of a future without the figure that has dominated them for so long.
I can't believe that this is Elizabeth Day's first novel as it is just brilliant. She explores the damage caused to individuals when they are hurt and betrayed by their own family members. In some ways it is quite a simple idea for a book yet the complex feelings and relationships presented in this story are far from simple.
Scissors Paper Stone jumps back and forth between the past and the present so we get a very detailed picture of how this family unit was created and then destroyed. Some parts make for very uncomfortable reading and I applaud Elizabeth Day for dealing with such a sensitive and taboo subject in an incredibly honest way. She manages to avoid clich├ęs and I was completely absorbed by her story telling.
I can't write too much about the plot as it would spoil it. However, for me, this book was all about the writing. I felt that the author had a very strong writing style and I really hope that she has more books to offer in the future.

Dot Scribbles Rating 5/5

Many thanks to Helen at Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this book to review, Scissors Paper Stone is out now.


Elizabeth Day said...

Hi Dot - it's Elizabeth Day here! I was forwarded this review and just wanted to say the most enormous thank you for your sensitive reading of the book. Getting comments like yours makes it all worthwhile. Warmest wishes - and keep on reading,

Dot said...

Thanks Elizabeth, Scissors Paper Stone is excellent, I shall look out for your next book!

Jo said...

I did not realise this was a debut novel. I have heard good things, another one for the list I think.

Kim said...

This sounds really interesting, Dot and I know you don't give 5/5 for just any book. I will definitely be on the look out for it now.
Thanks for the review.

Dot said...

Jo- it's a really good read and so well written!

Kim- I think you'd really enjoy this one xx

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