Thursday, September 28, 2017

Genuine Fraud

Genuine Fraud. E. Lockhart. 2017. 272 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: It was a bloody great hotel.

Premise/plot: Looking for a book that is told completely in reverse chronology? Have I got a book for you. E. Lockhart's Genuine Fraud. Lockhart mentions two specific inspirations for her novel: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
Mysteries perpetuate the status quo. Everything always wraps up at the end. Order is restored. But order doesn't really exist, right? It's an artificial construct. The whole genre of the mystery novel reinforces the hegemony of Western notions of causation. In L'Etranger, you know everything that happens from the beginning. There's nothing to find out, because human existence is ultimately meaningless. (70) ~ Forrest to Jules
Jules, the heroine of Genuine Fraud, sees herself as the center of an action movie.
She knew that women were rarely the centers of such stories. Instead, they were eye candy, arm candy, victims, or love interests. Mostly they existed to help the great white hetero hero on his [...] epic journey. When there was a heroine, she weighed very little, wore very little, and had had her teeth fixed. Jule knew she didn't look like those women. She would never look like those women. But she was everything those heroes were, and in some ways, she was more. She knew that too. (22)
I am the center of the story now, Jule said to herself. I don't have to weigh very little, wear very little, or have my teeth fixed. I am the center. (150)
My thoughts: Genuine Fraud isn't my typical book. I don't typically do psychological thrillers. I don't have a special love for unreliable narrators. But. There was something intriguing about E. Lockhart's Genuine Fraud. Something that kept me reading even if that something wasn't suspense. Was Lockhart hoping to lead her readers on a quest for the WHY? Or perhaps was it all about illustrating how there are no whys to explain away murderers actions?

I have not read The Talented Mr. Ripley. I've read reviews saying that Lockhart has borrowed every plot point, every character, directly from this book. And for people who've read both--it was too much echoing to be inspiration.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am big fan of psychological thrillers, so I think would be up my alley. I'm glad you were able to enjoy this and take a chance outside your comfort zone.