How You See Me, by SE Craythorne

There is something so compelling about reading a real, honest to goodness letter.

Friday, 4th September 2015, 8:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:52 pm

I don't care that text messages and emails are instant and endemic. There is something so compelling about reading a real, honest to goodness letter, and I do adore epistolary books. You know, books in letterform, for those of you sitting at the back.

They make everything seem personal and instant, with insights into who is writing them and the receiver of them, too.

Daniel Laird has returned to Norfolk after a long nine-year absence to look after his artist father. He describes his homecoming in a series of letters to his sister, his boss, and to Alice, his one true love.

But it's not until he uncovers a stash of his father's paintings that the truth begins to surface about why he left all those years ago.

The more Daniel writes, the more we discover about his past and the more we begin to fear. This is a taut and thrilling book that looks at the frightening power of the mind to deceive and to lie, not only to those around us but to ourselves as well.

This is a chilling read and so beautifully written that I know that I'll return to this book again and again. It also makes me yearn for the days when I used to receive letters, not hurriedly dashed off emails but honest to goodness paper letters, although frankly, I'm glad that Daniel Laird isn't writing to me. You will be too.

S.E Craythorne is appearing at The Bookish Supper Society on September 9.

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