As You Were

By Elaine Feeney

Hmm, a very painful and slow read for me. Not just because of the detailed gruesome hospital events, that was expected, but because of how cold the main character Sinéad was.

I know it’s a lot to do with personal taste but I really didn’t want to pick this book up again between reads. I couldn’t warm to the mother of three who didn’t want to even try to battle a terminal illness, especially when she had so little faith in her husband taking care of their children when she was gone.

The drama on the ward was also a little far fetched for me. I understand it would have been difficult to write an entire book while being stuck in a hospital bed if it wasn’t – but still – I found myself not really believing in the characters, their connections or their behaviours. There’s a strange closeness that develops, for example, between two characters that have never actually spoken. It seemed to come out of nowhere.

The frustrating end was the nail in the coffin for me. I have absolutely no idea what actually occurred. I read through the final pages twice and then one more time out loud to my husband, to see if he could help me understand if it was a metaphor or something. But we both agreed the juxtaposing facts listed over those three pages (without a single full stop) were too difficult to untangle. Two stars because I made it to the end!

Favourite quote:

Molly Zane took all the extra Hospital shifts she could, mostly to avoid making real-life decisions. I didn’t share these secrets with her, these you have to learn for yourself.

As You Were is out on the 20th of August, thank you for the opportunity to review this book through NetGalley