Friday, June 19, 2009

The Honeymoon, by Justin Haythe (2004)

One of my random picks from the library...this was a strange, sad, and subdued story. Written in the first person, it tells the tale of Gordon, a twenty-something young American man living in London and trying to get over the end of his marriage and reconcile the fact that its failure had so much to do with his relationship with his very odd mother.

Gordon and his mother, Maureen, spent most of his childhood traipsing around Europe, for she was doing research for a travel guide to the best art in different European countries. He tells us about his mother's odd habits, and their solitude. He seems to be numb, when as a reader, you feel like he should be angry at what she selfishly did to his childhood.

Gordon meets Annie after he finally gets out on his own to go to art school in London. They marry and things seem to be going fine until they are invited on a honeymoon trip to Venice with Gordon's mother and her new Swiss boyfriend. It is there that the marriage unravels, due to the unbalanced and cruel behavior of Maureen.

An odd read, strangely compelling - because you want to find out what Maureen is capapble of and what she will do to Annie - but the ending is somewhat of a soft landing, considering the expectations and dread that are created by the creepy atmosphere.

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