I was excited when I read the blurb on this book as it sounded electrifying. I mean a dash of Stephen King with a twist of Hitchcock, doesn’t that just sound like it’s going to sizzle. And then I saw it was a translated book and that excited me further as I feel I don’t read enough of books in this category. But my expectations were just high and it never lived up to my initial hopes.Forever Yours by Daniel Glattauer
Published by Quercus Books, Quercus Publishing Plc on 4th Sept 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Crime, Depression & Mental Illness
Judith, in her mid-thirties and single, meets Hannes when he steps on her foot in a crowded supermarket. Before long he turns up in the exclusive little lighting boutique that Judith runs with the help of her assistant Bianca.
Hannes is an architect – single and in the prime of life. Not only is he every mother-in-law’s dream, but Judith’s friends are also bowled over by him. At first Judith revels in being put on a pedestal by this determined man who seems to have eyes only for her. But as time goes by, she finds his constant displays of affection increasingly wearying and his intensive attention becomes oppressive and overwhelming.
In the end she feels cornered, controlled and stifled. All her attempts to get him out of her life fail. He seems to follow her all the way into her dreams, and when she wakes up he’s already waiting on her doorstep to pamper her afresh…
First Line of Forever Yours by Daniel Glattauer:
“When he stepped into her life, Judith felt a brief stabbing pain.”
My Thoughts on Forever Yours by Daniel Glattauer:
OK so I didn’t love this but it’s not a bad book at all. It was just too slow for me personally. The comparison to Stephen King and Hitchcock set the bar way too high and it was too big of a jump for this book to take.
It’s a slow, dark read and feels nicely edgy at times. From the moment Judith meets Hannes, it’s awkward and there is zero chemistry between them. Their dialogue is forced and a little hard to read as it’s just so bland. It does capture the lack of sparks between them and how Judith has just sort of given up on romance and is settling.
“Him: “OK, then.”
Him: “Oh, and about the coffee – I’ll just pop into your shop sometime when it suits.”
Her: “Yes, do.”
Him: “Looking forward to it.”
Do you see what I mean, it’s not exactly riveting stuff. However not all the dialogue is like this and it is being used to show us the lack of excitement between them. They are nice, overly polite and beyond reserved. And when Hannes later shows a darker side, it’s not exactly a surprise because no one is that lacking in personality so it was obvious that he was hiding something bad.
Not that he hid it too well. He was all but waving red stalker flags from their very first meeting and I think Judith even saw that but just turned a blind eye to it. The use of the Him and Her left me feeling a little outside the action and quite detached from the characters. However on the positive side, it did increase the chill factor of the book.
As the book progressed, it spiralled into dark, depressing places and you are left feeling isolated and helpless just like Judith. Every direction she turns to for help becomes another dead end as Hannes effectively seals off all her support network. Even though I found the pace of the book slow, I was intrigued as to the direction the book took and was unsure the whole way through how it would end.
One thing that disappointed me was that there was no sense of place about the setting. I wanted to feel the Austrian location but really it was pretty generic and could be any city or town apart from the place names and character names.
Overall a bit of a letdown but I’m glad it helped me step a little outside my comfort zone and read some translated fiction. I also appreciated that the author has a unique voice even if it didn’t work for me.
|Did I feel it?|
Who should read Forever Yours by Daniel Glattauer?
I’m not quite sure who to recommend this book to. If you like slower paced books, that are dark and edgy then this might work better for you.
Thanks to NetGalley and Quercus Books for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.