“And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic. And—I would argue as well—all love. Or, perhaps more accurately, this middle zone illustrates the fundamental discrepancy of love. Viewed close: a freckled hand against a black coat, an origami frog tipped over on its side. Step away, and the illusion snaps in again: life-more-than-life, never-dying. Pippa herself is the play between those things, both love and not-love, there and not-there. Photographs on the wall, a balled-up sock under the sofa. The moment where I reached to brush a piece of fluff from her hair and she laughed and ducked at my touch. And just as music is the space between notes, just as the stars are beautiful because of the space between them, just as the sun strikes raindrops at a certain angle and throws a prism of color across the sky—so the space where I exist, and want to keep existing, and to be quite frank I hope I die in, is exactly this middle distance: where despair struck pure otherness and created something sublime. And that’s why I’ve chosen to write these pages as I’ve written them. For only by stepping into the middle zone, the polychrome edge between truth and untruth, is it tolerable to be here and writing this…”

-The Goldfinch, location 12466

Book Review: The Ruin of Delicate Things

Book Review

The Ruin of Delicate Things

By: Beverley Lee

Ghost Suspense/Horror Suspense
3.5 Stars

Barrington Hall is a place of secrets—something Dan Morgan has worked hard to forget. But when a heart-breaking loss brings him back to the place where he spent his childhood summers, Barrington Hall will do what it must to make him remember.

Faye Morgan blames her husband for the death of their teenage son. She doesn’t want to leave the place Toby called home. But after she catches a glimpse of a strange boy in the midnight woods and learns of his connection with Barrington Hall, her need to learn more pulls her further and further into a nightmare world filled with past atrocities and the burning flame of revenge.

A tale of grief and horror, The Ruin of Delicate Things explores how loss can leave a hole inside of us. A hole large enough for anything to crawl into.

Here’s one of those books I struggle to rate and review. I loved the setting of The Ruin of Delicate Things, by Beverley Lee. Ghosts and haunted houses and Fae mixed into a tale that had me dying to dig up the history; the cause. Questions of what was real and who was fighting for what side kept the suspense thick.

But there were a few things that kept catching me wrong. Things that shook me from the story. Things that when I try to put into words, make me wonder if I should have liked this book more than I did. Isn’t this one of the reasons art is hard to quantify? Because sometimes things just don’t resonate with some, while it does with others? Maybe that’s all this comes down to; that undefinable thing that sometimes makes things likable, or not. And I did like this book, I just wish it were better.

The ending is one that I normally am a fan of. A little ambiguity can be great. But here, I was left more unsatisfied than anything. Still, the last 20% of the book was difficult to put down. I’d say, if you like suspense and/or ghost stories, try this out.

Happy Reading 🙂

Update: I have never updated a review, but reading another book had me realize the thing I couldn’t put my finger on. Not only realize, but feel the need to explain.

Petulance. That was the problem. The main characters in Ruin, while their struggle was very real and very dark, I felt, especially the female, was petulant about it. It made her attitude often annoying rather than something to sympathize with. Such a subtle thing, I think 🤔 Have you read Ruin, yet? What do you think?