Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Sight For Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell

Francine has had a rough start to life. When she is seven, her mother is murdered by a man who comes to the house, and Francine escapes by hiding under her bed. Teddy has had a rough childhood also. His parents were shocked to have him, and were too self-centered to pay him any attention at all. In Ruth Rendell's A Sight For Sore Eyes, Francine and Teddy find each other and form a relationship.

Characterization and plotting are hallmarks of Rendell's style. In addition to the two main characters, there are several other women who play large parts in the plotlines. Julia is Francine's stepmother, and tries to keep her a baby because of her early trauma. Harriett is a rich woman, married to a man who no longer loves her and going through a series of young lovers. Both these women share the self-centeredness that seems to move the book forward.

I can't remember ever reading a Ruth Rendell that I didn't enjoy, and this one was no different. Rendell's plotlines are tight and the evil that happens seems inevitable with the characters involved. For fans, this one is highly recommended.

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