Book Review: The Other Half of Me by Morgan McCarthy

Jonathan and Theo's childhood is one in which money is abundant but nurture is scarce. With a father who died when they were very young and a mother who starts drinking at lunchtime, the brother and sister are largely left to roam around their sprawling estate in rural Wales, looking only after themselves and each other.
Until, that is, their grandmother, Eve returns to the family home. Eve is a figure who is as enchanting as she is forbidding, and she takes the children under her wing, answering their questions about their family history that have always been ignored. Yet as they grow older, they discover that much of what they've been told is a fiction and that something very sinister lies in their past.
The Other Half of Me is Morgan McCarthy's debut novel and I think it is excellent. The majority of the book is set in Evendon, the family's sprawling Welsh estate. The house isn't described in huge detail but I imagined it to be sprawling and full of secrets. Although the book is set in 2008, I felt as though it had an older feel to it; as if the inhabitants of Evendon hadn't been touched by the modern world.
This book has echoes of The Great Gatsby and I Capture the Castle; there is a plot but you almost don't need anything to happen because the writing is so good.
I really liked the characters of Jonathan and Theo. Theo is central to the whole book; she is incredibly eccentric and innocent and I had a great sense of foreboding from the very beginning that something dreadful would happen to her.
The Other Half of Me is about secrets and their consequences. Should you always keep someone's secret and should you always be prepared to listen and believe when someone shares their secret?
I very much enjoyed Morgan McCarthy's writing and I hope she will treat us to more books in the future.

Many thanks to Headline for sending me a review copy, The Other Half of Me is out now.

Dot Scribbles Rating 4/5


Nikki-ann said...

Sounds good! I do love a book set in Wales... We often are a little behind the times :D

jessicabookworm said...

I love a good old house full of secrets mystery, plus love the idea of it being set in Wales. Will have to pop this on my wishlist.

Dot said...

Nikki-ann- I'm sure you're not!

Jessicabookworm- hope you like it!

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