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Disquiet by Julia Leigh

I stumbled upon Entertainment Weekly's Best Fiction of 2008 list and, as much as most of the books looked mind-numbingly dull to me, Disquiet by Julia Leigh caught my eye. A novella, EW described it as haunting and askew, and given the picture of its (gorgeous) cover art, I wanted to see what it was all about. Short fiction isn't usually my thing, though, so I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy it.

Disquiet is the tale of a young woman who arrives home to her native France with a broken arm, lots of bruises, and her two children in tow. She arrives at the same time as her brother, his wife, and their baby, who died in childbirth and is to be buried on the family's land. It's the blending of an old world -- old money, old power, old prestige and names and private school -- with the new, two children who don't speak French and a man who ducks away from his grieving wife to take phone calls and dark thougths at dinner. EW didn't lie, either; the mood is haunting, creepy, almost disturbing, and a pleasure to sink into.

There is so precious little that I can say about this book, given that it's only 121 pages, except to say that it is an engrossing read and will leave me in the darkness for perhaps a little longer than I meant to be.


the forest-dweller

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