Book Review: Eloise by Judy Finnigan

EloiseWhat’s it about?

She was a daughter, a wife, a mother. She was my friend. But what secrets did Eloise take to her grave? After her best friend Eloise dies from breast cancer, Cathy is devastated. But then Cathy begins to have disturbing dreams that imply Eloise’s death was not all it seems. With a history of depression, Cathy is only just recovering from a nervous breakdown and her husband Chris, a psychiatrist, is acutely aware of his wife’s mental frailty. When Cathy tells Chris of her suspicions about Eloise’s death, as well as her ability to sense Eloise’s spirit, Chris thinks she is losing her grip on reality once again. Stung by her husband’s scepticism, Cathy decides to explore Eloise’s mysterious past, putting herself in danger as she finds herself drawn ever deeper into her friend’s great – and tragic – secret.

My thoughts

This is the debut novel from TV presenter and book club advocate Judy Finnigan. Having read the inspiration behind the story which explains that it was based on her friendship with TV presenter Caron Keating who died of breast cancer quite young, you can’t help hear Judy’s voice in Cathy and therefore Richard in Chris.

It’s an easy, enjoyable read and Judy’s obvious love of Cornwall, its countryside, views and heritage shows through in her writing. I love Cornwall myself but parts do read a bit like a travel guide.

I found that the plot moved a bit slowly for me, it takes chapters and chapters to learn what Eloise wants Cathy to know and to do but you do keep reading as you do get drawn in and want to find out what happens. This isn’t a full on scary ghost story, more a of a supernatural chiller (but in a fluffy way). I think it had the potential to be scarier if the author had wanted.

Cathy’s character comes across as quite weak and Chris, her husband is not one of the nicer characters, he’s quite condescending and patronising towards his wife and you will want to slap him on more than one occasion. Some parts feel a little repetitive when describing the love for the children, Eloise’s love and Juliana’s love – yes we do get it and understand! Oh and the bit in the garden with Ted and the shotgun – errrr wouldn’t normal people have called the police?….a little unbelievable!

I did pick up on a typo around page 330, or it may have been a missing word in a sentence and now I can’t find it again (very annoying and slack of me not to make a note at the time).

Don’t think I’ll be queuing up for book 2 but will probably pass this on to a friend for a beach/holiday read – one to leave behind once read though.

Overall an easy read. Read if you like sedate chillers/thrillers/ghost stories or a fan of Judy.

Available as paperback and Kindle version from Amazon Eloise

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