Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Look at Me

Look at Me by Sarah Duguid
Published by Tinder Press
25th February 2016
Hardback Edition

Lizzy's mother died two years ago, leaving a family bereft by her absence and a house still filled with her things. Then, one day, Lizzy finds a letter from a stranger to her father, and discovers he has another child. Lizzy invites her into their world in an act of outraged defiance. Almost immediately, she realises her mistake.

 This is a book that clearly highlights the phrase, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.  One day Lizzy, an aspiring actress, discovers a letter from Eunice to her father Julian.  In it, Eunice reveals that she is indeed his daughter from an affair he had whilst married to the now deceased Margaret and she would love to meet her ‘family’.  Despite her father telling her to 'leave well alone', Lizzy replies to Eunice and then the two meet up and Lizzy ends up bringing Eunice back to the family home she shares with Julian and her brother Ig.  Eunice instantly seems to warm to the family and starts to try to make herself so useful that they won’t ever ask her to leave.

In some ways Look at Me is a little creepy, but it doesn’t necessarily hit you in that way to begin with.  Eunice winds herself into the family nest, and like a cuckoo stealing other birds’ eggs, she tries to fit in but never wholly succeeding.  As time progresses, Lizzy can see the error of her ways, but by now, it seems too late to actually ask Eunice to leave, for she has moved in, lock, stock and barrel.  When she begins interfering with Margaret’s possessions, the atmosphere in the house begins to change, and even laid-back Julian comes close to losing his temper with his newly-found daughter.

At the annual memory meal for the death of Margaret, things come to a head and you know that there is going to be some sort of dramatic finale, but involving whom is never certain.  Look at Me is a tale of families, and of bonds and connections and also of how these once-tight bonds can so easily become loosened by the introduction of another.  By the end of the book I’m quite sure that given her chance again, Lizzy would never have replied to Eunice in the first place.  Oh the benefit of hindsight!

 Happy Reading

 Miss Chapter x

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