Book Review “Out of the Tower” Alison Gray

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Jemima Forbes is seven years when a mysterious event occurs and her father and uncle disappear from her life one night. She spends her growing years obsessing about this and when she is old enough, leaves home to find out what happened.

Out of the Tower was shortlisted for the Constable Trophy 1992, a competition for the best unpublished novel by a writer from the North of England. It was described by the judges as: powerful, strong, heartfelt, admirably tense, a work of great promise and individuality, carefully thought out and with subtlety, deftness and poetic nature of idiom.

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Out of the Tower is the emotional discovery of Jemima Forbes’ life as it unfolds. The story is lingering and slowly unfurls like the petals of a flower. With each piece of the story one petal after another slowly uncurls until the reader is left with the glory of discovery and the full bloom. 

I found Jemima to be obsessive and neurotic in a lot of ways but must also admit that this could be a product of her upbringing more than who she ultimately becomes on her own. The truth isn’t easy to come by and her questions are generally ignored. When she finally elicits a response the information is patchy and manipulated to justify her mother’s decisions or the consequences of her mother’s decisions. 

Jemima, as a character, really began to take form once she leaves her mothers house. I like to think of it as the mid-way point between who Jemima was pushed to be and who she organically becomes.

Jemima’s relationship with Luc is where the story really starts to take off. These two characters coming together was a good way to intertwine Jemima’s world with that of her uncle. 

This is what the reader later understands to be a stepping stone to the eventual discovery of why her Uncle and her Dada left. A much needed transition.

The ending is not what I would of guessed. It’s an exciting climax in an otherwise slow paced novel. 

I enjoyed reading but have found that this style of story telling is not going to be a favorite of mine. There is far to much introspection to keep my full attention. For people who really enjoy this style of writing I would say this is a great fit for them. The story is very personal and while this is usually not something I overly mind, I find the best genre for me with that level is fantasy.

I would also like to add that the version I was given for review had a number of typos and punctuation issues. One more proofread and revision should have that cleared up relatively easily.

I am rating this book with 4 stars.

4 star

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The Technical Data:

Title: Out of the Tower | Author(s): Alison Gray |Publisher: Amazon Digital Services / Publication Date: 04-16-2014 |Pages: 300 (Print) | ISBN:  B00JRCSLLC  | Genre(s): Literature & Fiction  | Language: English |Rating: 4 out of 5 |  Date Read: 7-1-2016 |Source: Copy from author

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