Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

First, I’d like to thank Harper Books for gifting me a copy of this book and for allowing me to be able to give away a copy.

“This was not a confession. Although her memories of being with Ralph as a girl were tender, she knew they could not be talked about openly. It had always been a secret, but not a dirty one. It was still precious to her. And Putney was going to be her private vision of this forbidden but genuine love, fueled by the view from her window, a few old letters and notebooks and carefully retained objects that symbolised a whole era. A distillation of the past.”

— Putney, Sofka Zinovieff

PUTNEY tells the story of the relationship between Ralph and Daphne. Through flashbacks, we witness as Ralph meets Daphne, he is twenty-seven and she’s only nine, and how their relationship progresses as she gets older, while in the present Daphne is already in her 50s and with a young daughter of her own. We get to experience this story from three perspectives Ralph, Daphne, and Jane, Daphne’s childhood friend that witnesses as the relationship grows.

While reading this I felt very uncomfortable in certain parts, especially while reading the chapters following Ralph. I actually had to close the book and allow a wave of disgust to go physically through me before continuing to read. However, I felt those scenes in the book were necessary and felt accurate, it allowed us access into what the mind of a child predator is like, how they justify the damage and evil they are doing. As for the Daphne parts, they were difficult to read, as well, because we read from the mind of a child who was so well-conditioned to think a certain way from a young age and even more disturbing that she continued to think that way as she got into her 40s. Yes, it’s disturbing to read but this book closely demonstrated what this type of relationship would be like. The characters were well-written and thought-out as was the story. I feel Sofka Zinovieff did an amazing job at handling such a delicate topic and giving us all the perspectives.

This book challenged me in the best way. Not just as a reader but as a woman. I’ve been put in tough situations by men and reading this felt real.

If you read to escape reality, this isn’t a book for you. If you like being challenged and like facing the harsh reality of the world and questioning it, then this is a book for you.

Thank you all!

p.s. don’t forget I’ll be hosting a giveaway for a copy on my Instagram book account, here.

Putney (Hardcover)
By Sofka Zinovieff
Harper, 384pp.
Publication Date: August 21, 2018

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