I am SO excited to talk about Ruth Ware’s latest novel: The Death of Mrs. Westaway!!
But first, I wanted to share something a little personal with you all.
Ware’s books are really special to me because my one aunt, the one who has always fostered and supported my love of reading and writing, introduced me to them!
Two years ago for my birthday, I was living in a pretty dingy, dirty apartment. I felt depressed more often than not, and really craved anything that would either literally or mentally transport me to another place.
I don’t know if she ever knew that or not, but she definitely made a point to talk to me about books, my writing projects, and everything that kept me centered in my life. And then, one crisp day in fall, in a rundown coal town in Pennsylvania, a brown package arrived.
It wasn’t anything special really. My husband and I furnish our hobbies and home with stuff from Amazon. I thought it was just another piece of sports memorabilia or one of the hundreds of books that I purchased that year. But no, it was a birthday package from my aunt.
As I opened it and read the card, it became pretty clear that she had taken the time to really think this gift through. I was, of course, touched, In her card she wrote about how Ruth Ware started out working all kinds of jobs that weren’t really her passion (definitely the previous chapter of my life, and often at times the present too) before she wrote two books and made a name for herself.
Now, I believe The Woman in Cabin 10 was once offered as a BOTM option because the title sounded familiar to me. For some reason, I didn’t select it that month. But it hardly mattered to me because my aunt generously gifted it to me.
Now I feel compelled to return the favor. You see, my aunt’s son passed away this year. He, like myself and a few others in our family, suffered from depression. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with it and took his own life shortly after the new year.
She’s doing all that she can to get through it. And while I cannot begin to understand her grief, I know what it’s like to feel depressed and like you’re stuck.
So I’ve decided that I am going to repay her for her generosity and gift her with her own copies of The Lying Game & The Death of Mrs. Westaway. I’m hopeful she likes them as much as I did, and this is an author we can gush over whenever we get together.
Also I can totally pass it off as a thank you gift because she’s letting me stay at her house for a couple of days this summer while I pick up & drop off my Belgian bestie at the airport. But that’s a story for another post. 🙂
Now onto my thoughts and feelings on Ware’s fourth read, The Death of Mrs. Westaway.
“She had the truth. And that was all that mattered.”
As you read this, you are probably going to ask yourself more than once: “What is the truth? What is real?”
Ware creates another heart pounding tale built on deception & lies. Which is pretty typical for a Ruth Ware novel. However, she deploys the use of the unreliable narrator in a different manner than in her previous novels. Something I greatly appreciated whenever I noticed it.
Our protagonist, Hal, is a bit of an underdog. She’s been dealt kind of a raw deal in life, and is barely hanging on whenever we first meet her. You definitely feel for her, and even when she does some morally questionable things (to ensure her own survival), you feel she truly is a good person whose been thrust into a hard life.
And things just keep getting harder for her, right up until the very end of the novel. But it makes you as a reader commit to seeing her story through. Because in typical Ruth Ware fashion, you have some idea of how things will end, but not everything.
I also felt like Ware has grown a lot as a writer. Once again, we see a host of unique characters, all with well rounded out personalities. Her writing is descriptive when necessary, and heart pounding through nearly all 368 pages. There’s also a lot of literary elements that make this a well crafted read.
Like the nods to Agatha Christie. It’s almost like she’s accepted the title the bookish community has given her.
I really enjoyed this one, and thought it deserved 5 stars! I highly recommend to anyone who likes suspense and mystery, even if you’re a first timer to Ware’s novels.
Anyone else out there a Ware fan? What’s your favorite novel? Or are there any good mysteries your recommend? Let me know!
Until next time, bookworms! Happy reading!