This is a really quick review because I don’t really know how much I can talk about Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty without giving too much away! When I read the book I had only read the back cover and had not heard anyone else speak about the actual content, I’d just heard and saw reviews saying that it is a good, gripping read. Therefore I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who might pick to read this, so this will be a fairly short review…
We discovered that safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement but you can never buy them back.
The story is told from Yvonne Carmichael’s perspective, a woman with a high flying career and a seemingly good marriage. But one day she meets a mysterious stranger and there begins a passionate affair. Taking risks, she struggles to keep the two sides of life separate – but, as the back cover states, ‘she can’t control what happens next.’
The novel includes what happens in the run up to the ‘incident’ that shapes both her and her secret lover’s lives, and then includes a lot of detail from inside her trial. Yes, she is standing trial for something! You find that out early on and this is given away in the description of the book on amazon so I can let you know that. The trial description is very detailed at times and some might find it too much so but I was kept interested throughout!
This is not by any means a love story. Although love may be the motivation for much of what happens in the novel, the reader is actually submersed in a quite dark and bewildering affair. As a character Yvonne does not seem particularly likeable, and although I do at various points feel sorry for her, overall it is hard to be completely sympathetic with someone who is cheating on her husband. This made me feel quite conflicted whilst reading it. The storyline is really quite shocking and nightmarish, especially reading it as a female.
Apple Tree Yard is intriguing, a bit different and kept me hooked! I felt like it made me think as I read it as it tackles some quite difficult issues. It definitely makes me want to read more of Louise Doughty’s work as I love a good psychological thriller!
Definitely recommended to those who fancy reading something a little different and also, at times, very uncomfortable.