Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Dot by Araminta Hall
Hardback, 288 pages

Published 23rd May 2013 by HarperCollins

arc-or-review, books-i-own, really-good, realistic-fiction, read-in-2013, cover-appeal 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:
The remarkable new novel from the bestselling author of Everything and Nothing is a warm and heartbreaking tale of three generations of women.

In a higgledy-piggledy house with turrets and tunnels towering over the sleepy Welsh village of Druith, two girls play hide and seek. They don’t see its grandeur or the secrets locked behind doors they cannot open. They see lots of brilliant places to hide.

Squeezed under her mother’s bed, pulse racing with the thrill of a new hiding place Dot sees something else: a long-forgotten photograph of a man, his hair blowing in the breeze. Dot stares so long at the photograph the image begins to disintegrate before her eyes, and as the image fades it is replaced with one thought: ‘I think it’s definitely him.’

DOT is the story of one little girl and how her one small action changes the lives of those around her for ever.

Though I did purchase Araminta Hall's first novel, I didn't get around to reading it, despite how intriguing the plot sounded. When I read about her latest offering, Dot, I was even more intrigued by this writer and I knew that I had to pick this book up as soon as possible - no excuses. I didn't learn that much about the contents from the blurb, but this actually made me even more eager to start reading.

This book has a very distinctive feel to it from the start - it is unlike anything I had ever read before. I won't lie - I wasn't entirely sure whether or not I liked it at first, it just felt so different to me, but after a very short while, I was absolutely absorbed into this book and I realised that I loved the uniqueness of the writing. I am in awe of Hall's talent - it takes a lot for an author to be so individual in their style, to offer something new, but she's managed it extremely well and it comes across so naturally. 

Though the blurb does sound like the book could be a little peculiar, a little fantastical even, it is actually a book that is very down to earth and a book that is unashamedly realistic. The book is fascinating, not just because of the setting,  a "higgledy-piggledy house with turrets and tunnels", but rather because of the characters inside the house and their actions, past and present. The setting is a really just a base point, a common ground - something shared between the three generations of women who live in the house, Dot, her mother (Alice) and her grandmother (Clarice). I thought it was interesting to see the differences in thoughts and feelings between the three generations and to see how they interacted with each other. Family is an important element of this book and I can't praise Hall enough for how she writes these relationships. Hall takes us through different narratives, weaving in and out of the past and present so naturally that it is so easy to just keep on reading and reading, learning more about this family.
It is important to note that though the story is mainly about these three women, it's also about a lot of other people - the people around them, their friends, their past loves - everything and everyone who has had an impact on their lives. 

There is not much more that I can say about this book other than I loved the individuality of it and how Hall's writing stands out from the crowd. I can really see this appealing to a lot of people - If you're just into 'women's fiction' or if you're into any type of fiction, this is definitely something that you don't want to miss. This has definitely made me want to catch up and read Everything and Nothing, and I can't wait to see what Hall delivers next!


  1. Sounds like a really cool book, I'm really drawn by the cover but you also make it sound like the story is great and I like that it's down to earth rather than more fantastical

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