Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: The Red House by Mark Haddon

Title: The Red House

Author: Mark Haddon

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Publication Date: June 2012

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.


Richard and his new wife and step daughter, invite his sister Angela, and her family on a weeks vacation in a remote area of the English countryside. There, the families get to know each other, for better or worse, and do what all families do- push, pull and heal.

Being a fan of one of his previous novels, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, I was eager to start this book. Haddon's writing is unique and beautiful, but it took some time to get used to. The narration switches characters' every few paragraphs and I wonder if the physical book will make this more clear. I read the ebook format so visually it looked like a continuous stream, but maybe that isn't the case in the hardcover. It was easy to follow which character's thoughts, feelings, actions I was reading about and the overall writing style enhanced the close character's perspectives. But overall, this left me feeling like I didn't really know any of the characters really well. I certainly don't think I liked any of them. And a few were so mean spirited and gross as human beings, even when they were

Haddon does a wonderful job portraying the family dynamic, the guilt, the blame, the old grudges. And also the opportunity to heal, to move on. There were many moments in the story where characters make certain decisions and it was heartbreaking to watch/read about. He does a wonderful job describing certain points in the day, some which seem unimportant, but hold a great deal of meaning for the character or the story. And these moments can go either way, the character can choose either path, and the point of no return.

Overall, The Red House is an interesting read. The writing style is different, in a good way, but I felt a real barrier between me and the characters.

Rating 5 Ok, Decent like Diet Coke.


  1. I have really had high hopes for this book. I have not read anything by this author, but this book caught my eye when writing up my new releases. Thank you for the informative review.

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