October 23, 2021

Short & Sweet: Cruel Beautiful World

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

The storyline here was compelling, and the depiction of a relationship turning abusive (both mentally/emotionally and physically) felt very real. I haven't read many books set in the late 60s/early 70s so that helped set this book apart from others of a similar theme. Most of the characters felt fleshed out, with the possible exception of William, whose POV we only get towards the end. I felt kind of conflicted about how his section was done, to be honest. Spoilers, highlight to read: 
While I understand that it's possible that in William's mind he was acting out of "love" for Lucy, and perhaps the author's intent was to show how William was lying even to himself about his behaviour, it still came across -- or at least could certainly be interpreted -- as a sympathetic portrayal of William, kind of like it was explaining away his actions by the fact that it was done out of "love". Obviously this was from William's point of view, so I suppose that was him justifying it to himself/Charlotte. Still, that portion left me feeling uncertain about what the reader was meant to take away from it.

3.5 stars. 

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