Book Review – The Red House

The Red House by Mark Haddon (Random House)

Richard, a newly married hospital consultant, decides to build bridges with his estranged sister, inviting Angela and her family for a week in a rented house on the Welsh border.

This book read like a screenplay, every character appearing as if in a movie. I could imagine the characters quite plainly. Four adults and four children, a single family, and all of them strangers. Seven days of shared meals, log fires, card games and wet walks.

The Red house is old and has damp rot as do some of the characters portrayed. Melissa and Alex seem to be the main characters. She seems to despise him so when she allows him to “take her” it comes as a revelation, but she pushes his chest away and walks off as if nothing had happened. The bursts of unusual sexuality seemed out of place. But as I said, the rot in the house is affecting the people.

An interesting book to read if a little muddled when it comes to the people in it. With Mark Haddon’s reputation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, I had expected a very different kind of story.

Dee Andrew

Posted on: 13th September 2012