ARC · book review · NetGalley · Text Publishing

Our Life in the Forest by Marie Darrieussecq

Our Life in the Forest

3 Stars

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date of publication: October 25th, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Where you can find Our Life in the Forest: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

In the near future, a woman is writing in the depths of a forest. She’s cold. Her body is falling apart, as is the world around her. She’s lost the use of one eye; she’s down to one kidney, one lung. Before, in the city, she was a psychotherapist, treating patients who had suffered trauma, in particular, a man, “the clicker”. Every two weeks, she traveled out to the Rest Centre, to visit her “half”, Marie, her spitting image, who lay in an induced coma, her body parts available whenever the woman needed them.

As a form of resistance against the terror in the city, the woman flees, along with other fugitives and their halves. But life in the forest is disturbing too—the reanimated halves are behaving like uninhibited adolescents. And when she sees a shocking image of herself on video, are her worst fears confirmed?

Our Life in the Forest, written in her inimitable concise, vivid prose recalls Darrieusecq’s brilliant debut, Pig Tales. A dystopian tale in the vein of Never Let Me Go, this is a clever novel of chilling suspense that challenges our ideas about the future, about organ-trafficking, about identity, clones, and the place of the individual in a surveillance state.


My review

When I first saw Our Life in the Forest, it was in a Read Now email from NetGalley. What attracted me to the book, before reading the blurb, was the cover. This is one of the more original covers that I have seen. I didn’t get why the human body parts were mixed in with trees and flowers. But, having read the book, I understand 100% now. When I read the blurb, I felt that this would be a book that I would enjoy.

I didn’t enjoy reading Our Life in the Forest. Which was a huge disappointment to me. There were no chapters, which was a huge thing for me. That led to me having issues following the plotline. Maybe I am old-fashioned but I need for a book to have chapters. I need those small breaks. Mainly to adjust to anything that was thrown at me during the last chapter.

I did like the storyline and thought it was original. Not a lot of books I can say that about. I liked how the author had Vivianne remembering her life before the forest. I got a good feel for her character and why she did what she did. Now, I didn’t like Vivianne. I thought she was selfish and self-centered. I do believe that the author wrote her that way on purpose. It made what was happening around her come more into focus.

I am not going to get into the ending. I will say that there is a huge twist in the book that I didn’t see coming. One that made me go “WTH” when I read it. I was not expecting what I read and it stuck with me after I finished the book.

What I liked about Our Life in the Forest:

A) The cover

B) The storyline

C) The ending

What I disliked about Our Life in the Forest:

A) No chapters in the book

B) I had an issue following the plotline

C) Vivianne. I didn’t like her

I gave Our Life in the Forest a 3-star review. This is a compelling dystopia. It is not an easy read for me. There were no chapters and I had issues following the plotline. The ending did save the book. It was a stunner.

I would give Our Life in the Forest an Adult rating. There is sex but it isn’t graphic. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread Our Life in the Forest. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Text Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Our Life in the Forest.

All opinions stated in this review of Our Life in the Forest are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

One thought on “Our Life in the Forest by Marie Darrieussecq

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