Two books written by a Mark one after another, but aside from the first name, some dysfunctional family element and multiple viewpoints, Mark Haddon’s The Red House is a story far different from Daniewleski’s The Familiar.
I’ll be honest, it took me awhile to figure out who was who in The Red House. Now I know there’s Angela and Dominic, who are married and are parents to Daisy, Alex and Benjy. And then there’s Richard who is married to Louisa, whose daughter is Melissa. Richard and Angela are somewhat estranged siblings, the former inviting the latter on a holiday to a house they rented in the hopes of, what? Reconciliation?
This is not a book of happy endings and changed or improved character. Some of them come to realisations of sorts but whether or not they’re the better for it we’ll never really know. And while Mark Haddon is known for his quirky tales, this book isn’t so, and I didn’t find it as entertaining as his two previously stellar novels, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and A Spot of Bother. It’s an alright read, but that’s all it really was.