Monday, August 3, 2009

Review: The Rapture by Liz Jensen

genre: fiction
rating: 3/5

If a teenager who is incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital for savagely murdering her mother begins to spout out gibberish that may just be foretelling disastrous events of the future, would you believe her? This is what her therapist, Gabrielle Fox, has to grapple with as she sorts through the mind of Bethany - who is anything but cooperative. In a foreseeable future where the climate is changing and believers already suspect that the end is near, Gabrielle has to deal with the thankless task of being Bethany's psychiatrist - and this while dealing with her own demons and trying to find enough faith in herself to believe that she deserves happiness.

The thing is, the plot is gripping - a pre-apocalyptic tale with real-sounding science and believable disasters. The author writes "angry" and "ugly" in such a surprisingly poetic way. For example,
Passionate gusts punched at the sails of moored boats and then headed inland, flattening corn, uprooting trees, smashing hop silos and storage barns, whisking up torn garbage bags that pirouetted in the sky like the ghostly spirits of retail folly.
The idea that Bethany may be more than just a violent loony kept me reading. Gabrielle's unique struggles struck a cord, although her attitude, for me, kept her from being a particularly sympathetic main character. And the truth of the matter is, the language in this book, mainly Bethany's, really turned me off. "Strong" language doesn't even do it justice - both the actual words used and the sexual content. So while the plot kept me reading until the end, I cannot recommend it without that warning.


bermudaonion said...

I don't think that's the book for me, but I appreciate your review.

jen said...

Have you read Monster? It's
about an inner-city youth accused of murder.... very different from what you read, but sci-fi element, but unfortunately, very realistic...

Beth F said...

Interesting premise, I'm not sure it's right for me though.

Anna said...

Thanks for the warning. This one is on my shelf. Well, if I don't enjoy it, at least it sounds like something my husband will read.

Diary of an Eccentric

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