Format: Audiobook (Borrowbox)
Read: July 2023
After I was disappointed by The Miniaturist I immediately felt right at home with The Confession! The audiobook was read by Hayley Atwell who I did think was OK as an audiobook narrator, but not the best I’ve heard.
The Confession is quite a similar story to The Muse in that we have another lost young woman who is drawn into an unexpected mentorship with a mysterious older woman. There are also, again, very strong themes of creativity and inspiration – in this case, writing takes the place of painting. We also again experience the story through dual time lines. The Confession has higher personal stakes, as this older woman (Connie) is only person who can tell Rose what happened to the mother who disappeared when she was just a baby.
What I liked:
- Once again I find that Jessie Burton’s writing works really well as an audio book. The draw back of an audio book is I can’t highlight quotes to keep!
- The central mystery of what happened to Elise was intriguing, it felt grounded and real but it still had me guessing the whole way through.
- Characterisation was generally spot on, especially for the female characters… with two notable exceptions.
What didn’t work for me:
- Elise and Rose both just have “lost” as their defining characteristic and didn’t have much going on other than the fact they both were searching for a mother figure.
- I didn’t like that it felt like Connie got away with a lot of terrible behaviour which left me feeling unsatisfied, but I did think her characterisation was brilliant.
- The theme of motherhood was just overdone for me. Every female character of any note in this book has to express their thoughts on it and if they don’t want to be a mother justify why not.
- Show Mild Spoiler Hide Spoiler [*]
Rose being pregnant at the end just felt unnecessary to me, I understand it was meant to parallel her mother but I don’t know, it just didn’t feel like it fitted for me. I also didn’t like that Rose let Connie off the hook for all her lack of care towards Elise, although I suppose she didn’t have all the same details that the reader did.
Overall though I did really enjoy this, and I will be looking out for more Jessie Burton!
A quote that resonated:
She could not commit the world to paper. The swirl within herself, its movement, its abstract nature, made perfect sense. She thought that one day it would make its way out of her. But, she thought, not yet.
[*] I am such a cleverclogs I worked out (Googled) how to add my own spoiler tags!