Book Review – Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

WARNING SPOILERS

I’ve watched the TV miniseries based on this book and gave it a 7. So I was interested to read this book. I thought the technique of writing unsent letters to ‘Dear X’, the central character’s lover, worked well to overcome the problem of what would have been way too much internal dialogue.

However, there was way too much padding, way too much detail about characters who played no part in the story and way too much description of things which didn’t matter, didn’t carry the story forward. I thought the courtroom scenes near the conclusion were interesting but even then, a little too drawn out. The comings and goings of Yvonne’s family after her release from prison dragged somewhat. The big reveal at the end could have been moved up closer to her prison release. In short, Louise Doughty has produced a work of 347 pages that could have been something like 250 pages without impacting on the story. I can only go a 4.

Steve Reilly