The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday

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The-Girl-on-the-LandingYou think you know someone but you never really do.

This is the premise of Paul Torday’s novel The Girl on the Landing. This is the first of Torday’s books that I have read, although I have been meaning to read Salmon Fishing in the Yemen since it came out in 2006 and received wide acclaim.

I am not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this novel. It sounded like a simple story between a married couple (Michael and Elisabeth) who after 10 years of sharing a pretty monotonous life together, holiday in Ireland and then return home to changes. In this instance, they draw closer together and begin to really fall in love for the first time.

Sweet, you may say. Don’t be fooled. I was. I can’t give anything away otherwise I will spoil the book but suffice to say it scared the hell out of me. Since watching Sybil as a child (your remember the movie with Sally Field who has dissociative identity disorder which back then was referred to as multiple personality disorder), the whole subject has affected me.

But what Torday has managed to do is address the subject from a different angle and although I was swept along in the story, I didn’t see the ending coming until it hit me like a freight train. This is a very interesting read.

Torday, Paul. (2009) The Girl on the Landing (Phoenix, ISBN: 97807538-2340-8, 308 pages.)

My rating: ★★★

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