Friday, January 13, 2012

The Radleys ~ A Novel ~ Matt Haig

The Radleys ~ A Novel ~ Matt Haig

"Your instincts are wrong. Animals rely on instincts for their daily survival, but we are not beasts. We are not lions or sharks or vultures. We are civilised and civilisation only works if instincts are suppressed. So, do your bit for society and ignore those dark desires inside you.The Abstainer’s Handbook (second edition), p.54" taken from the first page of The Radleys

The Radleys is an interesting twist on the modern family drama. Set in England the story follows a family of "abstainers" who are trying to conduct themselves as regular humans. In order to help their children better assimilate Peter and Helen have never told them of their true nature. Their pasty skin and insomnia explained away as symptoms of some disorder.
This is obviously a life half lived as the Radley family soon finds out the hard way. When their daughters "affliction" turns deadly the whole family must band together and possibly unearth some well hidden secrets in the process. Although this is about a vampire family it is not a vampire story as much as a story of family struggle. So many families deal with issues such as drug use, infidelity and just plain unhappiness that it is easy to understand the Radleys and even feel bad for them.
As far as the Novel itself it seemed to flow well. Haig has divided it up into nice short chapters and has clean changes of POV keeping the pace fast and not at all confusing. The characters are both likable and surprisingly real, considering they are in fact vampires. In the end we learn you must embrace your true nature if you ever hope to be happy.

I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars :)

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