Friday, July 31, 2015

London From My Windows

Happy Friday!  Here in Dunedin, Florida it is pouring rain again. When my dog, Doozy had to go outside, I opened the back door, he stuck his head out, saw rain, and pulled his head back in.  He was not going outside!  I do not blame him one bit.  I would love to see him in a rain coat with little galoshes on his feet though!  I would need to get them in extra large since Doozy is such a big dog.  Do children wear galoshes any more?  I disliked them when I was a kid.  Somehow I always ended up with wet feet and my shoes were always stuck inside them (the kind where you put the rain boots on over your shoes).  My mother even had us where them in the snow.

London from My Windows by Mary Carter was an unusual novel.  It begins with Ava Wilder dancing with her father.  They go out dancing along the sidewalk when her father drops dead from a heart attack.  Her mother, Gretchen, clutches her husband and tells her daughter that she killed him (she was upset and grief stricken).  Ava feels that she has murdered her father and is very angry.  At first Ava believes that if she is very good, her father will return.  Then she starts acting out until the day she will no longer leave her bedroom.  The one person she wants to see is her Aunt Beverly (her father’s sister).  The one person who Gretchen (the mother) will not contact or talk to is Beverly (the reasons come out later in the book).  Nineteen years later Ava lives in her own home, but she rarely leaves it.  She has severe agoraphobia.  Ava has black sheets over every window in the house.  She does sketches for the local police department (for an income), but they usually come to her.  The day she has to go to the police department, she has to be blind folded, medicated, a trash bag over her head, and bodily hauled out (she carried trash bags with her like they were blankies).  Then she hears from Jasper Keyes.  Jasper is her Aunt Beverly’s barrister (lawyer).  Beverly Wilder was an actress who recently passed away from cancer.  She left her West End flat in London to Ava.  But in order to inherit, she has to live in the flat for one year and visit a list of sites around London (within 90 days).

Ava decides to go to London (after talking with her psychiatrist) because she has to get away from her mother.  Ava is heavily medicated for the flight and has to be wheeled through the airport (in a wheelchair after she is found hiding in a custodian’s closet).  No one believes that Ava will be able to complete the list.  If Ava does not meet all the conditions of the will, the flat will go to Beverly’s best friend, Queenie (a fun loving drag queen).  With help from Jasper, Queenie, and Queenie’s fun friends, Ava starts to enjoy life again.  Will Ava be able to leave the flat and visit all the sites on the list before the deadline?  Can she get over her agoraphobia? 

London from My Windows contains a lot of internal dialogue from Ava.  It goes on and on for pages.  The one thing I did like about the novel was how it highlighted that all disabilities are not physical or can be seen.  The way it was handled, though, was more like a bad comedy routine.  I kept at this book until I finished it, but I did not really like it.  The writing was okay, but the novel was not pleasant to read.  I really got sick of Ava’s internal monologues and constant panic attacks (she even got them when people came over to the house or flat).  I give London from My Windows 2 out of 5 stars.  It was just not my cup of tea.  This novel contains an extreme amount of foul language (even from a child).  

I received a complimentary copy of London from My Windows in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.  

I was just looking out my bedroom window.  I think I could actually take a small boat and travel down my street.  I hope everyone has a lovely and dry afternoon!  Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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