Book review: Cousins by Salley Vickers

Will Tye suffers a life-altering accident after falling from the roof of his university building.

The effects of this day ripple through 60 years and three generations, with his sister, aunt and grandmother unpicking the chain of events that followed. Little is known of Will’s honest feelings towards his situation as his narrative is offered only through the women closest to him.

This framework allows the reader to make their own decision if the narrators are reliable or not, and make assumptions about Will’s true viewpoint.

The story is extremely wordy, with so many characters you often lose track — eventually giving up interest and ignoring peripheral story points entirely. This dark novel investigates family closeness, and the lives we weave with those we’re born to.

However, the novel drags you along with it, with little regard to whether you trust its spiderweb of relatives — which becomes frustrating, and stops you ever really engaging with the story.


Salley Vickers

Book review: Cousins by Salley Vickers

Viking, €20.25; ebook, €9.50


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