So, I realize it has been a few weeks since I have posted a weekly update. Sorry about that. New habits are hard to establish sometimes, and I plain just forgot about it. But that is no reason to throw it all out, so here I am.
This week was a good week. The big issue was that I ran out of paper. I didn’t realize I was so close to being out because I thought I had some new paper somewhere. Turns out, nope, I didn’t. I was going to continue/restart my revision of Cipher with Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel (Affiliate link), but it involves printing out your manuscript and as I was about to add paper, well… Anyway, so I printed off the first 50 pages and have ordered paper, which I will get on Saturday of next week. So February is looking like it is NOT going to be revision week. I will continue with the website work.
The book I am reviewing this month is The Likeness by Tana French. I really need to reread it. It is gripping and intense. The story is a murder investigation through undercover work. The main character is a detective who, because her appearance is so strikingly similar to the victim’s, goes undercover as the victim, pretending that she is not really dead, so that the suspects might give themselves away and she can find out who killed her double.
It has very believable training, and explores the nature of identity: how much is internal and how much is what our actions are. How memory plays into it. But it is not a literary novel; it is mainstream suspense. I was so engrossed in the story that it colored everything in my life, and I felt I was really there, even when I wasn’t reading. The description was realistic and yet totally alien to anything I’ve ever done. That combination was obsessive.
This is the second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series, but the books are only very loosely connected. There was one small event in this book that recalled the previous book, In the Woods, which is also a great novel (but which I don’t remember at all, unfortunately — I guess I need to reread that one, too!), but otherwise, the plots were completely different and unrelated.
The main thing I took from The Likeness is a deep questioning of who I am as a person, and how much of that depends on my actions, my beliefs, and my memories. Who are we really?
Have you explored questions of identity? Has a book ever made you question yourself? How do you continue to define and create your authentic self?