Angelena Boden’s compelling debut novel tackles challenging themes, its psychological twists keeping you gripped to the very last page.
The career of an acclaimed cellist, Iain Millar, is in tatters. Allegations of sexual harassment while teaching in a girls’ school have left him unemployable, and he soon spirals into depression.
Iain sees himself as a failure and falls into a dark place where his cello playing provides the only light. When fresh revelations appear to implicate Iain in the abuse of his ambitious wife, Una Carrington, the world is quick to decide his guilt. Iain’s precious antique cello then disappears, and even music is
lost to him.
| Guest Book Review |
When it comes to Angelena Boden’s ‘The Cruelty of Lambs’ I feel two reviews are in order. The first is for the book I thought I was getting and the second is for the book I actually got. Now, I know what you are thinking; I can almost hear the cries of never judge a book by its cover but, if anything, I think the cover and sleeve notes do Boden’s work a disservice. The front cover shows a shadow in the doorway way of the music room, a bleak black and white image and the tagline “only his music could reveal the truth”. I will admit I rolled my eyes and anticipated an indulgent, brooding dirge. The book I actually got is anything but.
It is a vibrant story full of witty, infuriating, kind, wicked, troubled and, yes occasionally, brooding and indulgent characters.
Music plays a part but it is a friend who pushes to find the truth and to make a difference.
Boden writes from varying perspectives and has you questioning your understanding of events and your reading of the characters. She perfectly captures the human compunction to craft events into a story that presents the image we want over reality and sometimes leaves the reader certain of the truth but oftentimes confused. I cannot say much more without giving away the plot but cannot stress strongly enough that you should not let the cover put you off. Give it a go.
By J.A. Warnock for Love Books Group
| Author Information |
Angelena Boden has spent 35 years writing and delivering training programmes on resolving conflict, interpersonal skills and advanced communication. Amongst her many international projects, she set up a charm school for nightclub door staff in the 80s, worked in Belfast on a skills development programme to help people on the Shankill Road get back into work and has helped large numbers of young unemployed and ex-offenders to find their place in society. She speaks four languages and has travelled extensively.
Angelena writes dark, compelling fiction which is described as gripping psychological thrillers and domestic noir. She is keen to connect with readers via twitter @AngelenaBoden
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