What would you do with a story that creates a buzzing in your ears and plays havoc in your mind? The Crooked Little Pieces is one such story that has parts in it that are gonna wrung you out to dry. Author Sophia Lambton takes the reader on a journey akin to watching a family drama on television. A father and his two daughters and their coming of age story set around an era where the world was not all white and gloried.
Annaliese and Isobel are not characters that instill any warmth and as such, I had difficulty connecting to their antics. It was difficult to sympathize with their predicament of an absent mother and a clueless father and their own self-serving and adamant attitudes. But once the children lose their father, the story delves deeply into the psyche of both the girls and it is then one feels for Leisa and Isabel. Twins born 6 days apart, Isabel and Leisa are as different as chalk and cheese, and their ways and choices reflect in all their entanglements.
While Isabel chooses to find a husband come what may, in stark contrast, Leisa shuns all relationships to the point of deciding to never settle with a man though her obsession is seeking a motherly figure in her psychiatrist. But do the choices give them the joy both are seeking in life is left to be seen as Isabel discovers the peril of her chosen life and Leisa discovers that her mentor has her share of trauma to deal with. I loved the juxtaposition of these two parts of the sisters’ lives, unable to connect and finding no common ground between them. Their love is yes visible but unfortunately, both of them find it demanding to express emotions, and more than once, a sentence begun is left hanging and conveyed wrongly or misunderstood.
Sophia Lambton has painted the characters of Leisa and Isabel as selfish at first glance but having deeper and obscure layers upon reflection and that makes this part one of the story a study by itself. The Crooked Little Pieces is paced slowly capturing the girls thru the different times of their lives, one who is a prodigy but doesn’t want to perform, and the other completely immersed in books and the learning of it all. Even though Isabel and Leisa are very well fleshed out, I would have loved to have a more emotional connection with their situation which didn’t really happen throughout the plot, and the only reason why, I am going with 4 stars.
Many thanks to The Crepuscular Press and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Lost are the creatures destined never to be understood.
1926. Professor Josef van der Holt obtains a post at an all women’s college overseas. Stuffy London suddenly becomes the site for the unseemly exploits of his half-Dutch and half-German daughters Anneliese and Isabel. When tragedy carves out a hollow in their lives, an ailing soul sends the sororal twins along a jagged path: while Isabel takes flight in sensual hedonism Anneliese skirts danger in her role as sleuth. Elusive are the sentiments they seek: swift stopovers of fleeting feeling. Seditious loves and passions scarcely probable veer each away from the predictable.
And when the obvious appears unstoppable the opposite may achingly be true.
Spanning the twentieth century’s five most volatile decades, The Crooked Little Pieces is a series about inextricable entanglements. Perverse relationships pervade a glossary of scenes. Plots criss-cross over a rich tapestry of twists and tension-fuelling characters: some relatable, others opaque and many “crooked”.
It is television drama. Novelised.
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