Gillespie and I by Jane Harris

I had seen this book talked about on various book blogs and apart from glowing reviews everyone was very careful not to reveal anything significant about the plot and saying how it surprised them. I was intrigued. Even on the back cover, there was only the most basic description of the plot and a warning that nothing in Gillespie and I is what it seems.

Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
So I was on alert, keen to not be fooled, and I was confident I would figure it all out. I was so wrong! It is to Harris’ credit that she created her main character and narrator of the story, Harriet, to be quite odd and yet appear so trustworthy at the same time. A few things she said or did seemed strange, but I suppose it was just the right amount of strange to make you frown a little bit but then be able to move past it and never doubt her irresistible narration.

The first part of the book isΒ mostly just setting the scene and because I knew something shocking would happen I kept trying to figure it out but never did I come close to guessing the horrible events that followed. It was slowly, very slowly, that I began to be aware of some things that didn’t quite add up and was not sure what and whom to trust. All I could do was to keep reading as I was practically breathless to find out the truth. Not that there was a big Hercule Poirot-style reveal and explanation at the end. It is through subtle hints and tantalising remarks that the author allows the reader to piece together whatever version of the truth seems more plausible to them. It’s kind of infuriating but also awesome!

As soon as I finished reading I was dying to see what other people thought happened, to see if there were clues I missed or scenarios I hadn’t imagined. So the book stayed with me for a while as I was still puzzled and infatuated. It will probably end up on the list of my favourite books for the year. I cannot recommend it highly enough; simply avoid spoilers and it is guaranteed to be a thrilling book to read.

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5 thoughts on “Gillespie and I by Jane Harris

  1. Charlie says:

    You sold me on this. I really wasn’t sure and forgot about it, but what you’ve said sounds awesome. Unreliable narrators are a feature I haven’t read nearly enough of, and the way you speak of the ending sounds great, coming to your own conclusions and being able to read everyone’s take on it later.

    • bookworm says:

      I’m certain you’ll enjoy it! I don’t think I’ve read a lot of books with unreliable narrators either, so I don’t know how this compares, but I think it’s a very clever book. There are no terribly obvious clues. And now, even after I’ve finished, I’m still not sure if what I thing happened is “right”. I’m quite tempted to re-read it to see if there’s things I missed the first time.

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