Book Review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill | Jo Linsdell

Book Review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill


Book Review The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

My thoughts about The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

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Disclosure: I got sent a free copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley.

The book synopsis for The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill book cover

In every person's story, there is something to hide...

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman's terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who'd happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with The Woman in the Library, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.

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Discussing The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

Quotes from The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

To paraphrase Spider-Man: With a great readership comes great responsibility.

As for your enquiries about how my own book is coming: Well, I spent Friday at the library. I wrote a thousand words and deleted fifteen hundred. Regardless, the Boston Public Library is a nice spot in which to be stood up by the muse.

And so we go to the Map Room to found a friendship, and I have my first coffee with a killer.

It feels a little indecent to write so well in the wake of tragedy. But I do. The story of strangers bonded by a scream.

“But we were going to compare notes on our books today,” Marigold protests. I meet Cain’s eye. Were we? “You and Whit aren’t writing books,” he reminds her. “You’ve inspired us to start,” she says smiling.

“So, this is Isaac’s story?” I ask, tentatively, because I’m not sure he wants to talk about it. I know he’s writing about it, but that’s different. Words are put down in solitude; there is a strange privacy to those disclosures. Time to get used to the revelation before readers are necessarily taken into your confidence.

When I’m an old lady, one shoulder will probably be lower than the other after a lifetime of lugging laptops like they are some portable life-support system—which perhaps they are.

"...Murderer isn’t a job description, Freddie. It tends to be something you do on the side.”

“Have you…Have you always written romance?” “Yes, and what’s more, so have you. The mystery writers, the historical novelists, the political thriller writers, the science fiction writers...everybody but the people who write instruction manuals, is writing romance. We dress our stories up with murders, and discussions about morality and society, but really we just care about relationships.”

“Words have meaning. I suppose who the author is, what he’s done might change that meaning.” “Isn’t meaning more to do with the reader?” “No...a story is about leading a reader to meaning. The revelation is theirs, but we show them the way. I suppose the morality of the writer influences whether you can trust what they are showing you.”

“I was released over seven years ago,” he reminds me. “Jail wasn’t the only influence on my life.” “Even so, it doesn’t seem to have marked you at all. I went to yoga for a few months five years ago and I’m still traumatised...”

I’m sure it must happen. After all, how are you to know you like killing people until you have taken a life and in doing so discovered the incomparable thrill of holding existence in your hands and snuffing it out? I’m projecting, of course.

“Not necessarily. I just mean that you can’t judge guilt or innocence by whether a person is likeable or not. Sociopaths are often charming, they know how to make you love them. But they don’t operate by the same rules—they don’t feel remorse or guilt, they know how to manipulate people and situations.”

Where to find The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill online:

Book Review The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

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