Since I don't have a Familiarise Friday guest today, I'm sharing my thoughts on a book I've just finished by a fellow Crooked Cat author- Sue Barnard. Her debut novel is a cracking read and is called - The Ghostly Father.
The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard 5 stars
A fantastic read!
This is a book to read in one sitting, if possible. I believe any reader will feel at the outset that they know what’s coming, if they’re familiar with the Shakespeare version of Romeo and Juliet, but they don’t! I love the whole plot of the book; how Sue Barnard reveals her version of the story. Tragedy isn’t absent, the echoes of the bad guy of Shakespeare’s Capulet family are there but you don’t need to have read the Bard to understand the Veronese family feuding.
As I read on, there were some tenterhook moments not knowing how the story was going to be reworked. Were there going to be more corpses? Who would they be? How was the author going to reveal a happier ending, and for which characters, since Sue Barnard’s novel is the story of more than one pair of star crossed lovers and Romeo and Giulietta do not really have centre stage.
The writing style is a treat to read, plunging the reader into a situation of being directly in confidence with the character I’m going to refer to as the narrator, whether or not that is technically correct (I’m avoiding spoilers). Though not a play, it reads in many ways almost like a script since it is heavy on dialogue- this excellently done since it maintains a great pace throughout.
I really appreciate that Romeo is still portrayed as a bit of a wimp – just as he is in the Shakespeare version – since it is in keeping with plot. Had he been reworked into a macho alpha male, it somehow wouldn’t quite have worked for me! This is a novel I recommend to anyone who enjoys a good tale.