Thursday 1 December 2016

Book Review: The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough

Title: The Language of Dying
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Publication Date: 5 December 2016 (2009)

Pages: 176
Format: EBook - PDF
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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Tonight is a special, terrible night.

A woman sits at her father's bedside watching the clock tick away the last hours of his life. Her brothers and sisters - all traumatised in their own ways, their bonds fragile - have been there for the past week, but now she is alone.

And that's always when it comes.

As the clock ticks in the darkness, she can only wait for it to find her.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

The Language of Dying gripped me so completely, I read the entire book in one 80-minute sitting. Poignant and thought-provoking, lyrical but heart-wrenching, Pinborough's prose draws in the reader right from the first page. The story is a fascinating look at coping with loss, and the way it changes a family's dynamic. The introduction pushed this book as a horror story, but I would never class it as such myself. To me, this is pure literary fiction. Will some people find the plot "horrific"? Maybe. But this is no King- or Koontz-style piece, so don't approach it expecting that. Overall, I'd say The Language of Dying is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

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