My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days
Publisher - Faber & Faber
Pages - 297
Blurb from Goodreads
Some people love goodbyes...
23-year-old Catherine is mainly interested in Facebook and flirting, but she reluctantly takes a job at a local care home after her mother puts her foot down - and soon discovers that her new workplace contains many secrets. One of the residents at the home, 82-year-old Rose, is convinced that something sinister is going on in Room 7 and that her own life is under threat. But Rose has dementia - so what does she actually know, and who would believe her anyway? As Catherine starts investigating Rose's allegations, terrible revelations surface about everyone involved. Can Catherine find out what's really going on?
We have two main characters, Catherine who is 23, self obsessed and all about her Facebook status and what she can get out of life. Rose is 82, successful author of children's books, lives at Dear Green Care Home and has dementia. She flits between present day and being cognitively aware to reverting to her 10 year old self and reliving an event over and over. Catherine gets a job in the care home, at the push of her mother and undertakes a journey of self discovery and personal growth. She forms a relationship with Rose and becomes endeared to the elderly lady, however as Rose becomes more adamant, in her lucid moments, that something is going on Catherine's interest is piqued. As she starts to nose around she finds some clues that maybe Rose is onto something with room 7 and her curiosity may lead her to more trouble and danger than she could have imagined.
I do like Fitzgerald, you never truly know what your going to get when you pick up one of her books as, I feel, they are very different. This one, we know from early on Catherine is ageist, not a particularly nice individual and does some questionable things. However, Rose is quirky and fabulous and I think she gets under Catherine's skin which starts the journey Catherine goes on. There is a lot more to this story and it is hard to go into without spoilers which I never do and generally hate. Needless to say, there are twists and turns that I didn't see coming, whilst some of the book gets really dark and some readers may find uncomfortable, there is some humour within it and I can't state enough how much I liked Rose.
The book also has some sexual content, abuse is also a factor although it is not throughout and when it does appear I found it was relevant to the story rather than just put in for effect. The book I could have read in one sitting however, life did not permit it so I had to steal moments when I could. 4/5 for me this time, I have read Fitzgerald before and absolutely will again, if you like a book that has some tough content, humour and grips you then this book is for you. the Exit is newly released and as good a place as any to start with this author if you haven't read her before.