Thursday, February 2, 2023

The House in the Pines - Ana Reyes

I started seeing quite a few reviews of Ana Reyes's debut novel, The House in the Pines. When Reece Witherspoon made it her next book club selection, I decided to listen to it and see what it was all about.

Maya had three weeks before she left for university. But in those three weeks, her life changed when her friend Aubrey died - in front of Frank, the man Maya had been seeing. 

That was seven years ago. Maya still doesn't really understand happened that summer. She doesn't trust her own memories. But after a chance viewing of a disturbing video, she knows she has to go back home and find answers at last.

Unreliable narrators are a favourite of mine and Maya is definitely unreliable. Reyes mixes in more than one reason for her memory lapses and current day behaviour. Once she's back at her childhood  home, the pieces of that summer are slowly put together as Maya starts to revisit those three weeks. I'm was firmly behind Maya as she searched for answers. But... I mulled over teenage Maya's actions, emotions and thoughts as I listened. It could be my pragmatic nature, but I didn't totally buy into her behavior back then. 
Now, there is a reason for that behavior that I'm going to let you discover. It's at the core of the book. Having had it revealed, I thought it an unusual and unique idea. But, that pragmatic nature of mine had me appreciating the novelty of it, but not really buying into it.

There's a connection in Maya's life to Guatemala and I enjoyed learning from these bits of history.

I enjoyed this listen and thought it was a good debut. Not quite the wow I had anticipated though. 

The narrator was Marisol Ramirez and I thought she did a great job. Her voice is really easy on the ears, with a soft undertone. She speaks clearly and enunciates well. Her voice rises and falls as she reads, adding movement to the narration. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt of The House in the Pines


Amy said...

Great review - I have it in my Audible TBR and moved it up!

Luanne said...

Thanks Amy! I hope you enjoy it!

Harvee said...

Mamory lapses and even amnesia make for some good stories and novels. Glad this was a good read.

Luanne said...

I do like an unreliable as well Harvee!