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Mirrorland – tekijä: Carole Johnstone

Mirrorland (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Carole Johnstone (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
424466,908 (4)-
Teoksen nimi:Mirrorland
Kirjailijat:Carole Johnstone (Tekijä)
Info:Scribner (2021), 320 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Mirrorland (tekijä: Carole Johnstone)


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näyttää 4/4
Cat has not spoken to her identical twin in over a decade, but she feels certain that she would sense it if she were dead. She travels back to Edinburgh where she and El grew up to aid the authorities in the search for her missing sister. Her presence complicates matters since she is El’s “mirror” and a constant reminder to those who mourn her absence. Enmeshment, boundaries and shared trauma within family is a recurring theme in Mirrorland, by Carole Johnstone. Cat tries to convince her brother-in-law (and former lover) that she believes El is still alive. El and Ross have purchased the girls’ childhood home and painstakingly created an exact replica of the contents from their youth. The environment triggers Cat’s jumbled flashbacks of repressed memories about their experiences and the circumstances that led them to run away. Unfortunately, Cat is an extremely unreliable source of information for the reader. Her rich fantasies from childhood have blurred with the truth to such an extent that is difficult to know where her imagination ends and the truth begins. The house is a character of its own, with secret passageways and features that enhance the novel’s gothic and surreal atmosphere. Disorientating and a bit muddled, the story jumps back and forth in time, slowly morphing as new information is discovered during the missing person investigation. Johnstone seems to have gone a bit overboard in terms of misdirection, and the book’s conclusion seems drawn out by a sequence of revelations piled on top of one another. Still, Mirrorland is an absorbing psychological thriller that might appeal to those who prefer their mysteries on the darker side, like fans of Gillian Flynn or Alice Sebold.

Thanks to the author and Scribner for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. ( )
  jnmegan | Apr 4, 2021 |
When Cat’s twin sister, El, mysteriously disappears from her home in Edinburgh, Cat flies back from Los Angeles to try to discover what happened to her. This brings back memories of ‘Mirrorland’, the place the twins had invented as children, a dark place full of adventures with clowns, pirates and witches, an escape from the real world. But the games are not all they seem.

This is such an unusual, original and strange story but gripping nevertheless. It has a very gothic feel about it and it’s quite a disturbing read as well. It’s cleverly written and planned out. I did feel as if I’d disappeared down the rabbit hole and gone on an adventure in Wonderland with Alice, the Mad Hatter and, of course, the White Rabbit! The fantasy world of Mirrorland is very bizarre and at first I couldn’t work out what was real and what wasn’t. It has a very complex plot, quite the brain sizzler! But I love a puzzle, so I stuck with it and ended up thoroughly enjoying it. The ending could be a seen as a little convenient and obvious, but I liked it as it ends on a note of hope. It’s fiction after all! ( )
1 ääni VanessaCW | Apr 3, 2021 |
Mirrorland already has many pre-publication reviews offering plot summaries, character analyses and so forth. I will focus on two features of this extraordinary novel, the ones that I most admired and enjoyed. This will contain spoilers.

First, Mirrorland, the setting of much of the narrative. The two mirror twins, Catriona and Ellice, were suffused with stories of adventures, fantasy, and danger: pirates, princesses, lost boys, gunslingers. “[O]ur mother and her stories turned our imagination into a melting pot, a forge. A cauldron. “ As a consequence, the young girls built a playland out of their house. But what a playland! In addition to the full-scale pirate ship outlined in the basement, each room in the mansion has a unique theme and name, including the Princess Tower (their mother's room), The Clown Café, The Kakadu Jungle, The Donkshop (their grandfather's room), The Landing. Catriona (Cat) as first person adult narrator explains one of the rooms: “a richly imagined roadside American diner, with walls of red and white and glass tubes of pink neon. An old record player was a jukebox playing fifties Elvis.” As kids, Cat and Ellice (El) played in the Clown Cafe. “It was their their favorite hiding places in the world—they played dress-up, made up stories, ate fried donuts.” Elaborate, but seemingly harmless. On the other hand, Cat believes that the hidden part of the house, the incredible artifice of Mirrorland, was something she dreamed. Until she comes back as an adult and in an incredible swirling series of past flashbacks and present actions, recreates for herself the reality she lived. Such imagination and inventiveness! Mirrorland with all its fantastic constructions is real.

Second, their mother. Their mother says that there are no Prince Charmings and that every man is an evil pirate. Cat remembers her as stern, disciplining, disappointed in them when they don't measure up to her expectations. But in her adult remembrance, Cat realizes her mother was working on a Plan, a plan to effect the children's escape. Being captives, never leaving their home, was all the twins knew of life, except what they learned in The Count of Monte Cristo, the Shawshank Redemption, Narnia, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. She was teaching them to be brave and clever, for that was the only way they could escape from the hell they lived in. Their grandfather, so incredibly cruel and violent when drunk, had nailed the windows shut, nailed all three of the females into the house. But the underlying messages of the books, the Survival drills the mother demands her children run constantly, her determination, despite the terrible damage wrecked on her by her father – “Mum’s hunched back, arm trapped against her torso inside a tea-towel sling , a fist-sized bald spot close to her crown, the raw pink nakedness of it. . . .The horror in Grandpa’s loud and familiar laugh” – to free her children show the reader, ultimately and evocatively, how much love she had for her twins. The after-effects of the novel are strong.
This copy was provided to me by the publisher via NetGallery for an honest review.
  khenkins | Mar 18, 2021 |
Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone is not my usual choice of novel but the plot summary intrigued me. The story is about twin sisters, mirror twins, as their mother called them. They were brought up in a house filled with imagination and make believe characters. There was even a doorway to what the sisters called Mirrorland where they lived out adventures on the high seas as pirates or sharpshooters in a wester town.
The story is told from the view point of one of the sisters, Cat, who is called back to her home where her twin sister El and husband lived. Her sister has gone missing and is feared to be dead. Cat knows that cannot be true because as a mirror twin she would KNOW if something had happened to her sister. As police investigate the mystery, Cat starts receiving emails directing her to clues around the house that could have only come from El.
I enjoyed this book way more than I had anticipated. The way the author talks about Mirrorland and how the twins grew up with all of these characters really had me second guessing if Mirrorland was actually some sort of real magical place the sisters had created. The story had me hooked and was very hard to put down. I loved the original plotline and twists. Definitely a five star on this book! ( )
  Verkruissen | Feb 24, 2021 |
näyttää 4/4
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