Stillhouse Lake – Nothing Still About It

Kindle Edition of Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake – Well, there is nothing still about this book. There is tension, anxiety, fear and a feeling of vulnerability ridden across each page. It is a gripping story that keeps the reader going page after page. 

Since the beginning the tense atmosphere is established. We know that Gwen is in constant fear of being ‘discovered’ (she is scared for her children more than herself) but somewhere in between the sense of dragging events sets in. The paranoia gets too much at a point with nothing new really happening. Thankfully that does not last long and things do get moving. Of course, since it is a thriller, the events are not very pleasant ones, but they take the plot forward.

The story ends on a cliffhanger and the urge to read the next one is immense. If I get the next in the series now it would be like a binge reading session for me. 

By the way, Stillhouse Lake is perfect material for a Netflix series. I won’t be surprised if someday I see it in the form of a television series. Or is it already one? Wait a minute, let me check.

Just googled. No, not yet. But it won’t be long if it is made into one. A very suitable plot and lots of material for multiple seasons. 

Stillhouse Lake is the first in a series of five books. Okay, I realised this after having finished the first one, which is this one, when it ended on the cliffhanger note. One reviewer on Goodreads had given the book four stars stating that he would have given five had it not been for the ending. This made me apprehensive of what was approaching. Was I going to be disappointed with the ending? What was so bad that he said so? Well, all my fears were useless. The ending is good enough. For a person who loves thrillers, a cliffhanger ending is not bad. Just gives me added material to read. 

Rachel Caine has written this book in a very simple language but at the same time very engaging and engrossing. Melvin’s acts are very heinous but the references to them do not make you flinch. There is no explicit and crude description yet the message comes out loud and clear. Gwen’s paranoia is clearly visible through her acts and the emotions of the children can be seen. Yes, seen. It is so clearly written that words form pictures clearly to be seen by the reader. And a good thing about this thriller, it is not so predictable. Makes reading a lot more interesting.

Now, will I be going for the next in the series, Killman Creek? That is a good question to ask. I think I will take a gap; wait for a bit; read something different and then get back to Gwen. Or… I am not sure. Tomorrow is another day and another book. Which one will it be? That is yet to be decided.

Which One are You?

Image courtesy: @romankraft

Are you an Andy or a Sandy or a Mandy or a Brandy?

Andy, Sandy, Mandy and Brandy; four friends at a coffee shop having the same flavour of coffee. A hot piping hazelnut latte with whipped cream.

“This is perfect,” says Andy.

“Won’t say perfect. It could do with a little more sugar. But what the heck? Hardly matters.” Sandy doesn’t mind having it with a little less sugar.

“You’re right Sandy. Sugar is what we need,” and Mandy gets up to get another sachet of sugar. After all, coffee should be enjoyed not “just tolerated,” as Mandy puts it.

“Sugar? It’s not just sugar. The coffee is also a little low on the hazelnut flavour. Don’t understand why they can never make things correct.” Brandy starts complaining.

Sip, sip

“Why can they not add the right amount of sugar and syrup?”

Sip, sip

“All that they do is charge you a bomb and what you get is mediocre class of coffee. I barely understand why I come here every time.”

Sip, sip

The last time I was here…

Sip, sip

“… not going to order this next time.”

SIP!

The coffee is finally over but Brandy’s complains continue.

WHICH ONE OF THESE ARE YOU?

Motivational Quotes – Do They Really Work?

“Thank you! Motivational quote to start the day.” 

Do motivational quotes really work?

Every morning my WhatsApp groups are showering ‘motivational’ quotes. Quotes which will create a bubble in the mind and soul (where ever that is supposed to be) and fill one with positivity and confidence. Then what?

It is back to the same grinding day. The very same chores, the same challenges in life, the same routine to follow knowing full well that the day is not going to be any different. 

The quote of the day is,

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.’ 

What do I interpret this as? 

  1. Keep trying and someday I too will be a master: When do I know that I have tried enough and if this is not working for me I need to try something else?
  2. It is okay to not succeed as long as I keep trying: What is the point in trying continuously if I am not nearing success.
  3. Success does not matter. It is the effort that matters: If success does not matter why do I even put in my efforts? I do not want to go one working without reaching anywhere.
  4. Results can be anything. Keep trying: How long do I try? Shouldn’t my efforts produce some desired results. If not, why am I wasting my time in an activity which leaves me drained and failed?
  5. Take the initiative to start working irrespective of the result: How many initiatives are considered just enough? Should I not have studied my moves and anticipated outcomes to come anywhere close to achieving the desired result?

‘Motivational’ quotes barely succeed in ‘motivating’ a person to ‘take the big leap’ and achieve a goal. At least, it has not done so for me. Had these worked, by now I would have been one hell of a happy, successful, satisfied, content, peaceful, loving, confident, considerate, empathetic, social, friendly, sympathetic, joyous, positive, optimistic, hopeful, compassionate, and all things rosy, cosy and nice human being. 

What about you? Have you been inspired by a quote that has gone on to change your life? 

My Last Read – Lullaby by Leila Slimani

The opinions expressed here are purely personal with no intention of hurting sentiments, influencing opinions or thoughts. Please use your own discretion.

When reading a book the story becomes a part of life – at least some corner or the brain and heart is engaged in the story, the characters and the environment. All the while the book lasts it is like living another life in some other time frame, at some other location and among some very different people. It is a one-sided love affair that the soul is entwined in and continues in that state as long as the book lasts. When the book gets over, the plot, the characters and the setting linger on. Thoughts go back to it. Though I want to move on to a new book it is difficult to disengage from the ‘relationship’ established with the last one and move on. The decision to pick the next book is also difficult. Which one should it be? Will it be as good as the one I just finished reading? But a decision has to be taken and new cover turned to reveal a brand new story in a different land, at times in a different era. Gradually, with a bit of reluctance and some hope of discovering new loving memories the next book is opened and a whole new relationship started.

Sadly, none of this holds good for the book I last finished reading, Lullaby by Leila Slimani. This is one book I would love to forget. I am sorry Ms Slimani, I do not think this was a book I could grasp. No offence here, but I doubt I will be in the frame of mind to pick another our your books. At least not in the near future. Later, maybe a couple of years down the line? Time will tell.

Why did I not like Lullaby?

Overall, it was the plot that just did not seem to ring a bell with me. No doubt, the writing was engaging but when the story itself seems far and distant the connection is difficult to establish.

A few things were also confusing and left me wanting for more information, or were these so subtle put that I missed these? In that case, I am myself to blame.

  • Why so little about Louise’s background
  • Why did she behave the way she did
  • Did she suffer any traumatic experience in her life
  • How did she end up being a personal nanny from running a day care
  • How come no other parent noticed anything unusual in her behaviour (like the chicken carcass in the Masses home)
  • Why was she so strict with Stephanie
  • How old were the Adam and Mila (Mila’s behviour appears to be quite grown up like)
  • What is the time frame of the story
  • What did Louise intend to achieve from the murders
  • What was the significance of her dirty soles that Wafa noticed
  • Why was she not paying her rents despite earning a steady income

However, for anyone who loves a dark story this could be a choice to add to the reading list. Don’t go by the cover of a beautiful Peter Pan collar and soothing blue and white colours.

If I have missed the details then I do need to pay a lot more attention while reading. For now, it would be great if someone were to help me with the answers because I have no intention of going back to the book.

Have you read Lullaby? Do drop in a comment as to what your views, thoughts or experiences were like.

Loss of a Dear One!

Losing someone is painful enough, but not getting to say goodbye adds on to the woes.

Last night I lost my dear friend. All was well when we parted with a quick usual goodnight. Little did I know what the morning had in store, or shall we say what the night was up to. 

There was no good morning, no greeting to be exchanged. The cold body and stillness of the environment had a sad story to tell. Attempts to recover with a life support system yielded no results but my heart refused to give up. I could not get myself to remove the life support, though there was nothing left to support.

Shock, disbelief, sorrow, anger  . . . the emotions were all muddled up. There was so much to catch up on, so many things to share, so much to learn. Yes, I know there are innumerable notes left behind for me, piles and piles of information that were carefully stacked away for my perusal but it is definitely not going to be the same. My friend was not just a friend but a guide, help, support, a treasure of knowledge I could turn to at any time. I have not only lost a companion but I have lost MY life support. 

While the heart comes to terms with the loss life goes on and so must I. 

It is time I bought myself a new Smart Phone!