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Helen Howe, Black is the Colour

(15 Posts)
Cantdothisagain Sat 25-Jan-14 08:13:26

I've just finished this and am burning to discuss the ending!! Anyone else read it? For anyone who hasn't, it compelled me forward but drove me mad at the same time. Amazon reviews look odd and don't reflect my experience of it,so wondered if anyone else had read it...

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MerlinFromCamelot Mon 27-Jan-14 23:08:14

Read it last summer. Thought it was brilliant. I have seen a lot of reviewers not happy about the ending. Personally thought it was ok.... Probably not what I expected but thought the book was so wel fine that I really could not get my knickers in a twist about the ending. Enjoyed it and would recommend.

I believe Helen Howe is writing a new book at the moment... Will look out for it.

Cantdothisagain Tue 28-Jan-14 07:56:20

The ending worked - just wasn't at all what I expected.

I think I was surprised that so few ends were tied up. V powerful book though.

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Cantdothisagain Tue 28-Jan-14 07:57:18

Oh and I wondered why she accepts her sister's story without asking why the sister dyes her hair.

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bimblebee Wed 29-Jan-14 09:44:08

I read this quite a while ago now (and also posted a review on Amazon). I also thought some of the reviews were strange and wondered if it was just trolls, which is a shame. The book was really well-written I thought, in quite a literary way while at the same time very easy to read.
I'm one of those who really loved the ending as it took my by surprise, and I found that some of the unexplained stuff at the end kept me thinking about it for a while afterwards and even going back to re-read bits (which actually helped to explain some of the things I'd not understood).
For me, I also enjoyed the setting of it and the way 'normal' bits were woven in around the spooky bits - the decorating, cooking, shopping. I've got to say, it was one of the most unusual and gripping reads I experienced last year.
And I agree, it would be good to have a discussion about the 'untied ends' to hear what other readers make of them.

GypsyJo Wed 05-Feb-14 09:44:44

This was a really great story and I can't remember that any of the ends were left untied to my thinking.
It was gripping but also quite realistic and I'd be happy to read it again and have a discussion about it. Come on ladies...

Cantdothisagain Wed 05-Feb-14 18:44:26

Well - the sister Lou; that plot wasn't resolved, I thought- was it that she had tried to seduce Jay, hence dyeing her hair? Why did Lauren believe her story when her hair dyeing was so blatantly to attract Jay?

I did enjoy it yes...

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GypsyJo Mon 17-Feb-14 14:36:17

I'm sure I heard somewhere recently that this is being made into a TV drama. I could see it working really well.

Cthulu Mon 17-Feb-14 18:25:11

Is it worth aread? It's nice and cheap. but I am always deeply suspicious of anything that is only kindle-published.

GypsyJo Tue 18-Feb-14 17:07:29

Definitely worth a read. In my opinion better than Tideline (penny hancock) and Gone Girl which I also read around the same time. I tend to think that if you can get a book for less than price of a coffee it's worth a try, particularly if been recommended on here.

Cantdothisagain Wed 19-Feb-14 07:42:51

I preferred it to Gone Girl too. I'd say it's much better than some of the kindle generated dross - those Kerry Wilkinson ones for example. It's thought provoking.

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JuanPotatoTwo Mon 24-Feb-14 10:26:40

I enjoyed it all until the ending. Thought it was a bit lame really (the ending). And, yes - the Lou story didn't seem resolved. Also didn't warm to Lauren much.

evergreentreehugger Wed 05-Mar-14 13:47:33

I am halfway through this and loving it so far. Will come back to discuss when I am finished.

evergreentreehugger Wed 19-Mar-14 10:21:35

Finished this a few days ago and wanted to share what I thought of it.
Firstly, I really enjoyed the style of writing. I know not everyone likes first person present stuff, but I found that it got me straight into the story and into the mind of Lauren. I think that she had had a difficult relationship with her sister. In some ways she loved and admired her too much, trying to copy her, wondering what she would think about things, and I think that subconsciously her sister had a hold over her that she wanted to break away from, and she finds something in Jay that helps her to do this. (I was a bit dubious about the bit where Lou has supposedly met Jay behind Lauren's back).
Dumpy was a character I hated at first, but then by the end I could see why he was like he was. Maria was horrible yet realistic and I have met people like her before.
Lolly - I absolutely loved her character, the strange mute child that seems to be Lauren's only friend.
Weirdly, I found something quite sexy and compelling about Jay. Did anyone else or was it just me? I loved being drawn into the self sufficiency thing and all the musical background to the novel and I think that this 'counter culture' mixed in with the mundanity of Lauren's desire to decorate the house and bring some order worked really well.
The ending wasn';t the one I wanted for Lauren but it did take me by surprise, and I did think about it for a while afterwards. I think that she is so captivated by Jay that she decides to do what it takes for him to get over his grief in the hope that one day he will love her as much as he loved Ruth.
Yes, there did seem to be things with Lou, the sister that weren't tied up at the end but I don't think they were necessary to the main story. Perhaps there might be a sequel? Althogh I'm not sure how that would work.

SarahAndFuck Mon 24-Mar-14 09:57:07

I finished this last night and I did enjoy it.

I felt the same about the Lou situation, it was never clear why Lou had changed her hair to look more like Lauren.

And the things we learned about her were odd. The thing about not eating in front of anyone and the way she had a termination and bought Lauren the earrings before she told her about it. And why Lauren focuses more on that than the other news about Martin which Lou gave her at the same time.

And I would have liked to know a bit more about Jay and the women he has more than likely attacked.

But I do think it worked well that Lauren was ready to give up her life to be with him and that she then seemed to go into a downward spiral of drinking and drugs, stopped taking care of herself and the way she looked and went back to him even though he was abusive.

I was left thinking she will probably leave him and go back a few more times after whatever happens next.

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