Summary: “London, 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him.” -Goodreads
The Quick is a love-it or hate-it book. I fell into the “I loved this” camp. But, when I pushed it onto my mother and sisters, they didn’t like it. They all wondered why I had insisted that they read it and waxed poetic about its story. I was truly surprised.
At first, it reads like a classic English, historical fiction novel. Think along the lines of Dickens or Austen. And then… it changes very quickly into something else, something more like urban fantasy. I can’t say enough how masterful the first part of this novel is without giving too much away. It hooked me quickly and I was enthralled.
I loved how multiple genres collide in the story. I also adored the understated, “British” narrative style.
For a novel of over 500 pages, I went through this very quickly. It’s a wonderful book to lose hours reading in, what feels like, a few minutes. This would be a great book to carry on the subway or train. You’d be entertained for almost the entire trip.
I would have given The Quick five stars but the end bit dragged. Also, I disliked the way that the author developed a couple of the main characters. What can I say- I’m picky when it comes to handing out those five-star reviews.
I also think that book clubs will lose their minds over The Quick. As I mentioned before, there was disagreement within my own family if this was an enjoyable read or not. My mother thought that the writing style showed the author’s inexperience. I thought it was unique and captivating. We could have gone back and forth about it for hours, but who has time for that with all of the books that are waiting to be read.
I’d be interested to know your opinion on it.
As for me, I think this was an amazing debut novel. I look forward to more from Lauren Owen in, hopefully, the near-future.
I received a free advance reader copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. Thanks for reading!