I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Resin by Ane Riel
Published by Doubleday on 9th August 2018
Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.
Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.
But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.
This way, Liv would be safe.
A Wee Summary
Resin is one of those novels that it’s hard to say that you ‘enjoyed’ because it makes you feel so on edge, so deeply uncomfortable. So perhaps I can say that this is an unsettling but good read.
Liv is six years old when her father reports her missing and dead. She lives isolated on an island with her mother and father, hidden from the world. Her father, Jens Horder, was brought up here too, on the Head, a small island attached to a larger one by a strip of land known as the Neck.
Her Grandfather had been a carpenter and instilled a love of trees and nature into his younger son. Liv never met her Grandfather but she had gleaned a similar interest from her father.
Nowadays, the house doesn’t look as it did in her Grandfather’s day – there is stuff everywhere. Her Dad hoards things, convinced that they will be of use, scared that anyone will try to take them away from him. That’s why he told the police that Liv was dead, then no-one could take her.
As I read and uncovered the history of the Horder family, I became increasingly unsettled, and yet unable to stop reading.
While this book is dark and disturbing, it also captures the emotional relationship between parent and child. Liv’s innocence of youth and her sheltered life add to this, providing quite a contrast from the constant foreboding feeling I had as I read.
It is also a very atmospheric novel. Riel has captured this island location beautifully, with the feel of isolation further compounding the story.
I’m finding Resin a very difficult book to describe without giving away any spoilers. I should give you a warning though that this book contains animal cruelty and infant death. Consequently, it won’t be a book for everyone.
What I can say is that this is a disturbing, but memorable read that will keep you on edge from the first page until the very last.