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The Night Following

por Morag Joss

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1428150,206 (3.61)26
Moments after discovering that her husband has been having an affair, a woman driving along a winding country lane strikes and kills a woman on a bicycle and then drives away, in a psychological portrait of the repercussions of deception.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The format of the book is complex, with the narration, Arthur's letters to Ruth, and Ruth's novel intertwined. I found myself looking forward to each section, but particularly to glimpses of Arthur, who even in his grief is a delight. His actions are odd but understandable; on the other hand, it's hard to believe the doctor's wife, who seems to have no friends to notice her absence or increasingly strange behavior and appearance. The book is thoroughly depressing, but the characters stuck with me for quite a while, even some of the minor but amusingly drawn visitors to Arthur's house, and I'm still trying to decide if the ending is happy or sad. ( )
  SLWert | Jan 2, 2014 |
The Night Following by Morag Joss is a book that I felt both in my gut and in my mind. Her finely drawn descriptions, her ability to capture both the intricate and mundane thoughts that move through one’s head, her expressive styling of how grief can affect a person, and the ever so slow build-up of tension as we are drawn into a story that gradually gets creepier and creepier.

Finding evidence of a husband’s infidelity and immediately getting behind the wheel of a car is a recipe for disaster. With her thoughts churning, feeling both a sense of personal betrayal and that she’d been living a lie, she hits a woman on a bicycle and kills her. She gets out, inspects the body, gathers some papers that are scattered across the road. Then she returns to her car and drives away. From this point, spiralling out of control, she embarks on a path that can only lead to disaster.

Morag Joss writes of the loss, loneliness, and grief that comes for both the widower of the victim, and the driver as she loses her marriage and her sense of identity. In alternating chapters, we read of these two and, in a stroke of brilliance, Joss also picks up a third storyline, the victim was a writer and left behind a manuscript which is very revealing. These three stories are interwoven and eventually interconnected.

The Night Following is a slow burner of psychological suspense that is moody, dark and compelling. This is not a neatly packaged story with a beginning, a middle and an end. The Night Following is a stark and disturbing look at the inner turmoil brought on by guilt, loneliness and grief. ( )
8 vote DeltaQueen50 | Mar 23, 2012 |
This book received an Edgar Award nomination for Best Novel. I'm not sure why it qualifies as a mystery though. I never read any Joss before, and it seems that some of her other books are more traditional mystery stories. A whodunit with an investigating detective sort of thing. In The Following Day, there is a crime at the start, but no mystery about it and no investigation that we ever see. The narrator commits a hit and run accident, leaving the scene after striking a woman on her bicycle and killing her. She was distracting and upset after discovering an open condom wrapper in the glove compartment of her husband's car that she was borrowing for the day, proof of his having at least a dalliance if not an affair. She drives home and batters his car further after it is parked in the garage, leaving the condom wrapper on its busted up hood. When he comes home and sees the damage and understands the reason, he immediately packs his bags and leaves (apparently with his lover picking him up).
She stays in her home after this, becomes nocturnal and eventually goes to the house of the woman's surviving spouse, observing him through the windows. He is also staying awake nights, and it going through all of his and his wife's possessions finding things to remind him of the good times they had early in their relationship. Eventually she enters his house and cleans up the messes that he leaves behind. He writes letters to his deceased wife, at the suggestion of a grief counselor. His letters constitute second major part of the book, but he does not really get deeply involved in that project until the narrator starts to enter his house during the night and he hears her moving about downstairs. He then believes that his wife has returned, and his letters get more expansive and expressive when he starts leaving them out for her to read.
The book alternates between the narration by the unnamed hit and run driver, the letters and chapters of a novel that the dead woman was writing.
I greatly enjoyed this book. The writing is quite good and the characters are fully realized. We feel and understand the narrator's guilt for her actions and reasons for wanting to assist the widower, who is not physically well and unable to take proper care of himself and his house, for that reason, and due to depression, and also just due to his lack of experience in housekeeping, which was his wife's domain.
This is an excellent character study. It has stayed with me, in my thoughts, since I finished reading it a few days ago, which doesn't often happen. ( )
1 vote BillPilgrim | Aug 29, 2011 |
This book by Morag Joss is a very unusual book, weird even but the plot can catch you and drag you along through the book. It is interesting how she weaves three different plot lines through the book. It was interesting.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'" ( )
  whoizme8 | May 4, 2011 |
A doctor's wife finds evidence of his infidelity in his car and on the way home, accidently hits Ruth and kills her. In her despair she drives away. Shock over her husband's betrayal and the accident eventually unhinges the doctor's wife's mind. At first she only watches Ruth's husband, Arthur. Then she steps in and does little things for him. Arthur believes that Ruth has come back to be with him.

What a sad book. It's full of desperation and heartbreak. I liked how it was written, the doctor's wife's story, Arthur's letters to his dead wife and then the story that Ruth was writing when she died. ( )
1 vote cal8769 | Aug 11, 2010 |
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Moments after discovering that her husband has been having an affair, a woman driving along a winding country lane strikes and kills a woman on a bicycle and then drives away, in a psychological portrait of the repercussions of deception.

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