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The Henry Experiment readers...

(42 Posts)
TheCunningStunt Tue 29-May-12 10:59:56

..starting a thread for those of us lucky enough to have been chosen to read this book. I thought we could all discuss it here, if you don't the thread. I only got mine this morning so will read it this evening.

Matildathebrave Tue 29-May-12 13:42:34

I just received my copy. Couldn't read it in an evening though, takes me a while to read a book! Will start reading it tonight though, might take me a week or so, will discuss on here as I go along!


TheCunningStunt Tue 29-May-12 14:26:08

I don't mean read it all in one evening...I meant start grin blush did your envelope have a note from the author written on it?

Sharpkat Tue 29-May-12 14:31:22

Oooh maybe my copy will be at home when I get there.

Currently reading Susan boyle's autobiography but shall make this next on my pile smile

Matildathebrave Tue 29-May-12 15:51:47

Ha ha, I thought you were a really quick reader! Having said that I started reading a bit earlier and got to page 20, it's brilliant so far, was nearly late picking the kiddies up.

I am reading 'The Help' but might have to put that to one side.

Yes had a note from the author, how nice, what a lovely idea. Shame she didn't write it in the book, not complaining though!

TheCunningStunt Tue 29-May-12 18:58:48

She wanted to know what we you think she will be directed to this thread??? I might report the thread to mumsnet so she can read it....

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-May-12 21:36:03

Hope you don't mind but we're going to move this thread to the book giveaways section. We're trying to encourage mumsnetters to talk about books they've received via our book giveaways and this thread is a perfect example smile but would be better placed in the 'book giveaways' section where more folks may find it. Hope that's okay with you - we'll move it in the morning.

TheCunningStunt Tue 29-May-12 21:42:15

That's great thanks!

I received mine todaygrin hopefully I'll read it over half term I'm off work so will have a bit more free time.

TheCunningStunt Wed 30-May-12 09:30:08

So far I find it really easy to read. The small chapters make it easy to read a bit here and there, so I actually getting through it faster than I thought. Although only on chapter 6, but I like the way it is leading into Henry and about his father, coupled with Anna's own family relationship issues.

ChooChooLaverne Wed 30-May-12 09:39:49

Got mine yesterday too - lovely to get a message from the author on it too. Have to finish my library book first (The Legacy) before I can get stuck in but will be back later...

QuietNinjaMakingDecisions Wed 30-May-12 12:46:14

I got mine today. Note from Sophie radice asking me to let her know what I think so will come back when I've read. Also currently reading the help and have a library book that I need to get cracking on but might read this first. or all at the same time depending what mood I'm in as per usual patience not being one of my virtues grin

TheCunningStunt Wed 30-May-12 14:40:34

It's actually a really easy read. I just finished it. 3 hours start to end. I liked it. I can't say it was a thriller though as it was described, but I won't say anything else until everyone has had a chance to read it. Definitely raises some questions about parenting though.

BornSicky Wed 30-May-12 15:20:56

I got mine, also with a nice note from the author on the packet. Wish it had been in the book. Will hopefully get started tonight, toddler permitting!

first impressions are that I don't like the quality if the print and binding... it looks a bit cheap and vanity published.

the blurb sounds intriguing though and not what I'd normally read, so looking forward to reading it.

Matildathebrave Wed 30-May-12 16:39:03

That's funny Bornsticky, when i first saw the book I loved the crisp white pages and print made me want to read it straight away.


TheCunningStunt Wed 30-May-12 18:17:30

I liked the look of it too. I then looked up the publisher and they are a small independent one that publish women only writers and only print about four books a year. Made me like it a bit more

BornSicky Wed 30-May-12 19:34:08

cunningstunt that's great! Just had a look too and also very impressed as thoey look like they are owned and run by women too. Not too often that happens. Hope there's a mslexia feature on them. At some point.

Belo Thu 31-May-12 13:49:34

I got mine yesterday, and I loved the fact that there was a note from the author on the back. I'm taking it away with me to read over half term. And, as the author requested, I'll be back with my comments.

Matildathebrave Thu 31-May-12 18:14:22

I just finished it today. So am ready to discuss when everyone has read theirs.

I really enjoyed it and found it easy to read.

Won't put too much else until everyone has read their copy, will be interested to hear what others think of it.

I would definately recommend it to others and will be lending my copy around to friends and family.

QuietNinjaMakingDecisions Thu 31-May-12 21:43:36

I've finished mine. Very easy to read. Wouldn't say I particularly enjoyed it, was kinda expecting a bit more. I'm not sure of what though. Good story idea. Several characters I wanted to punch grin but that's good as stirred the emotions a bit. won't say who or give away any plot. I would recommend to friends for an easy read but didn't connect with any of the characters so probably won't read again.

Sharpkat Thu 31-May-12 22:37:12

Am half way through and enjoying it. My Mum is also here for the weekend and itching to read it, so shall post properly when I am not going to ruin it for others. smile

jimswifein1964 Sat 02-Jun-12 09:11:54

Read mine in bed from start to finish last night. also cut out my jiffy bag & am keeping the message inside the front cover grin.

It was totally different to what I was expecting. I really enjoyed it, but it wasn't as 'deep' as the review/blurb on mn led me to believe. I'm still trying to pinpoint what I mean. But my general test for novels is this: if it was in a chick-lit type cover, would it read just as chick lit? I think this would.

I think I would have liked it to go deeper into the characters e.g. her mother, and Henry's mother.

I liked the writing style a lot. And I warmed to it because it was set in familiar territory smile

I'm wondering if I missed the point of some of the comments under the blog?

I reckon this is one of the few books that I'd like to see translated into film.

Matildathebrave Sat 02-Jun-12 12:07:36

I thought the same about a film, well was reading it and thinking this would make a great drama x

TheCunningStunt Sat 02-Jun-12 18:30:59

Yeah I thought the blog comments would be part of the thriller element of it. Especially the one who seemed to demand the attention of the doctor, why he didn't answer etc. I was waiting for a twist that never happened with that. I agree it would make a good tv program. I did love the way it was written, but I felt it could have benefited from being longer.

Matildathebrave Sat 02-Jun-12 19:11:08

I thought reading the blog and how he was going more and more off topic on Henry was making me think he was losing the plot and going a bit mad.

When one of the bloggers asked where was he that made me think he had done something with the boy so it sort of worked in that way.

I really enjoyed it, yes I thought it could have been longer but it also appealed that it was so easy to read and had short chapters.

I would recommend this book and would also read anything else the author writes in the future.

For a first novel it was brilliant x

jodee Sat 02-Jun-12 19:46:09

Got a copy too! Am finishing off another book but I coudn't help myself and read the last page (shhhhh!) and am looking forward to reading the whole book very soon.

Cwm Sat 02-Jun-12 21:58:14

Just started mine today. Really enjoying it so far, the blog is quite clever I think as it gives us an insight into the professor...also like the contrast of Henry and Jason. I feel very uneasy reading it and I'm running through the possible scenarios of what might happen next, hope I'm not disappointed!

Cwm Mon 04-Jun-12 11:19:11

Right, have finished mine. Agree with jimswife that it's pretty 'lightweight' but I guess that might be part of the appeal for someone looking for a holiday read - this would make a great holiday book as it is very accessible and doesn't require any effort to get into it. I also wondered if the bloggers would play more of a part - but as they stand they do raise interesting questions about safety, I thought that letting his child wander about was one thing, but that posting about it online was exposing him to a whole range of additional dangers - was the dodgy man in the heath one of the followers on the blog I wonder? I liked Anna, and the part about her wanting to be with her children as babies again made me feel quite sad, I could identify with those feelings.

Trustinmejustinme Fri 08-Jun-12 21:59:40

Thanks so much for all your comments. It is really interesting to hear what people really feel about the book rather than what they think you want to hear as an author. It was longer and was edited down until it was slicker and easier to read. The earlier drafts were much more full of digressions and Anna's internal world but these were taken out on the advice of my editor and I think she might have been right. It is much more plot led and pacey now.
I am talking to a TV company about making it into a three parter. I don't know if it will really happen but it is fun imagining it on the telly. I wouldn't be at all precious because I know that they would have to change quite a bit about it in order to make it work.
I have started another novel. Not at all a follow on from this one although some people did want to know what happened to Anna next. I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew with it though.

NewDKmum Sat 09-Jun-12 21:45:41

Many thanks for the book and the handwritten note!

I thoroughly enjoyed the book as well and stayed up (much too!) late to finish it. The book raised some very interesting parenting issues, however I found there was never really any doubt as to who was the "sane" one.

Also, I thought the book could be still a bit clearer regarding genre. I don't suppose it is meant to be chick lit, and if that's correctly interpreted, I really could have done without Alphonse...

Another thing that puzzled me was, why the helicopter left with only Henry and his mother - why didn't the mother tell them to wait?

Many thanks for a good read!

Cwm Mon 11-Jun-12 09:03:41

Good luck with the new novel!

ChooChooLaverne Tue 12-Jun-12 17:04:07

Right, have just finished mine - thank you!

Although it was an easy read and I did enjoy it, I was left feeling a bit frustrated actually. I think the book was too short and some of the characters felt a bit too incidental - I think they needed more saying about them. There were so many aspects that could have been covered in greater depth. I liked the writing style and I thought Anna's character was well rounded and I felt that I got to know her well.

If Alphonse was to be part of the story <and maybe he shouldn't> I think he should have featured more strongly. I was a bit shocked about Anna's secret and feel that her relationship with her husband could have been explored in more detail - why on earth was she still with him? Was she planning to stay with him?

I liked Moisette and the glimpse into her culture/background but I think more could have been made of this. I wanted to know more about her and her son's life. I also wanted to know more about Nancy and her views on her husband's parenting ideas.

I thought the end was too abrupt and I wanted to know more about what happened next.

I think the story would translate well to TV and I look forward to seeing it! Good luck with that and with the new novel.

littlecath Wed 13-Jun-12 10:29:24

enjoyed this book and found it really easy to read. if i know that i'm reading someone's first novel it puts me off somewhat, don't know why as i can't write a shopping list!

jodee Wed 13-Jun-12 13:30:04

Have finally finished current book and looking forward to getting into this tonight!

Trustinmejustinme Wed 13-Jun-12 16:01:35

I think I might write another book about Anna and it will be more about the Congolese community, Moisette and Alphonse. mmm Nancy - I didn't want to make too much of her because I wanted Anna and the professor to be the main female/male figures and it didn't work so well when Nancy featured more in it. Anna and her husband's secret was put in there because of personal reasons and I think Choo Choo Leverne is right about it being a bit clunky perhaps.
As for why they didn't get picked up in the helicopter - I think that the mountain rescues main concern had to be for the boy because he had been out on the moutain the longest and it was a device to make sure that the Professor and Anna were alone at the end..... thanks so much for all the helpful.

Matildathebrave Wed 13-Jun-12 17:57:31

I really enjoyed the book and would look forward to anything else you write. I didn't enjoy the 'Alphonse' bit so much and wondered where it had all come from but would like to read more about Henry and Anna.

I have lent the book around so will be intereseted to hear what my friends think of it too.

It's nice to read an easy to read and enjoyable book. Good luck with your next.


Belo Thu 14-Jun-12 12:05:21

I enjoyed the book. I found it to be a very easy read. Good holiday reading! But, I wondered why Alphonse was needed? And also Moisette? Were they included only to show that Anna wasn't going crazy as David and her mother were suggesting?

Also, I can't understand why Anna is with David? The man who pushed her down the stairs forcing her to miscarry horrifically at 4 months.

I would very much like to know if Anna continues a relationship with Henry, and builds one with Nancy.

I think there is definitely material for a 2nd book!

melliebobs Thu 14-Jun-12 16:52:51

Ok. Finally made a start on this up to chapter 4. Initial thoughts. Well mainly intrigue. What I do like is so far from reading his blog this professor seems proper up his own ass. Yet his blog so far has ZERO comments grin no ones interested in his little theories grin

jodee Mon 18-Jun-12 13:26:30

Am enjoying this so far, about a third of the way through. Rather embarrassing - I was in the park (waiting for DS to finish some activity) and I had to stop reading because I felt I was about to cry! I was at the point where Anna is in her daughter's bedroom looking a pictures of Jason as a young child, tears pricking her eyes, wishing she could hold him again for just one more time as a baby - that's exactly how I feel sometimes.

jodee Tue 26-Jun-12 13:38:08

Finished reading this last night (am I the last to finish as there have been no posts since my last of 18 June?)

It was a good read, very easy up pick and put down with the smallish chapters, and I liked the blog idea. I agree with Belo there is scope for much more, a 2nd book on what happens next with David; and it felt like it was building up to an explosive conclusion with Anna's mother - I felt that relationship was much more tense than that of Anna and Henderson.

I also felt it could have been more "gritty" towards the end, but a great ending nonetheless. I like the idea of a TV movie!!

Sorry to be pedantic but there were quite a few typos, and was a bit cross that someone hadn't in the editing stage hadn't picked up the geographical errors in that when Anna drove to Dorset (which is where I live) she went via the M4, and swam in Durdle Door, apparently in the Atlantic!

Overall, I would very much look forward to a second book by the author, thank you!

melliebobs Tue 10-Jul-12 08:26:04

Jodee I only just finished and was good it was easy to pick up n put down n know where you are with it. I was I bit meh tbh. The ending was a bit of a cop out, there was still a lot more to explore. But most of all I didn't see the point of alphonse n that nightclub they went too

I've just realised I'd forgotten to post what I thought!! I enjoyed it but thought the ending was rubbish. Too many unanswered questions!!

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