Author: Eliza Robertson
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Goodreads Giveaway, NetGalley
Release Date: September 5, 2017
It is 1950, and nine-year-old Willa’s sheltered childhood is about to come to an end when her two new stepbrothers arrive at her family’s summer home in British Columbia. As Willa’s older sister pairs off with the older of these boys, Willa finds herself alone in the off-kilter company of the younger, Patrick. When, one afternoon, Patrick lures Willa into a dilapidated rowboat, Willa embarks upon an increasingly damaging relationship with Patrick, one that will forever reconfigure her understanding of herself and her place in a menacing, male-dominated world.
Demi-Gods traces the tumultuous years of Willa’s coming-of-age, as she is drawn further into Patrick’s wicked games. Though they see each other only a handful of times, each of their encounters is increasingly charged with sexuality and degradation. When Willa finally realizes the danger of her relationship with Patrick, she desperately tries to reverse their dynamic, with devastating results.
Daring, singular, and provocative, Demi-Gods explores a girl’s attempt to make a life of her own choosing in a world where woman’s independence is suspect, a world that threatens to claim a woman’s body as a mere object for men’s pleasure. A sensitive, playful, and entirely original evocation of the dualities within ourselves and our history, Eliza Robertson’s debut novel announces the arrival of one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary literature.
This book wasn’t what I expected. The cover is so cute and uplifting, but I don’t think it matched the story.
It was written in a literary style. There weren’t quotation marks around the speaking parts. This always slows down my reading. It did emphasize that the story is being told by Willa, but I find that style frustrating.
I was confused at the beginning because the characters aren’t introduced very well. It took a few chapters before I figured out what everyone’s relationships were to each other.
Some parts of the story made me uncomfortable too. There were some semi-incestuous relationships which were awkward.
Willa reminded me of Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird. She even had a special hole in a tree that she visited. However, Willa grew up much faster in this story than Scout.
Overall, I was disappointed in this story. It just isn’t my type of story.