The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell
This book by Ruth Rendell gives an interesting perspective of England in the days of the 1930’s and 1940’s. A crime is not resolved until many years later when the children and adolescents of the 1930’s and 1940’s who are now older look back to a time when they were young and used to play in the qanats or tunnels on the outskirts of London. It was also a time when they often had to take shelter underground during the air raids.
What appeals to me about this book is that it is such a wonderful portrayal of life and characters and how they choose to live their lives, the dilemmas they have faced and how they go about resolving their differences. The story is quite unusual and also complex in the beginning as there are many characters to keep track of initially.
This book has a charm and a quality quite unique which I enjoyed for the eccentricities of the main characters who seemed very human. Ruth Rendell is writing about life in this regard. Rosemary and Alan, children and grand-children and the dilemma and shock Rosemary has to deal with, Michael and his children and elderly father who had sent him away at an early age.
This book is quite an unusual story but wonderful for a portrayal of the early years in England during the war years and also for being able to understand the qualities of people in different circumstances and an uncanny knack of knowing how people will react to certain situations. A very good book to read. This book also seemed very real to life with the interesting portrayals of the characters.