Five words from the blurb: child, violence, Asperger’s, psychological, connect
As you may know, I make an effort to read as many books as possible that contain characters with Asperger’s syndrome. On Autism Awareness Day Hannah pointed out that The Uninvited fitted my criteria and so I added it to the top of my wish-list. By a strange twist of fate I was offered a review copy just a week later and so I accepted, keen to try one of Liz Jensen’s books for the first time.
The Uninvited is a psychological thriller in which children start attacking adults for no known reason. The central character, Hesketh, is an anthropologist. He is sent to Taiwan to investigate fraud within the timber industry, but quickly finds himself involved in the global child violence crisis.
The book begins well, with a vivid scene in which a seven-year-old girl kills her grandmother with a nail gun, but unfortunately that level of tension failed to re-appear later in the book. The scenes of violence were too fragmented and the explanations for the attacks were too far fetched for me to become fearful.
Hesketh has Asperger’s and I found him to be well developed, with realistic traits for someone on the spectrum. I liked the way Asperger’s was portrayed in a positive light, but I found mentions of the condition too frequent. The reader is made aware of the Asperger’s early on, but I found the continual reference back to it burdensome. If you don’t know much about the condition then you will find it useful, but I wish it hadn’t had such a dominant role.
The Uninvited has a lot to recommend it. It is a fast paced, entertaining read that treats Asperger’s with sensitivity, but I’m afraid the plot lacked the realism required to give it real impact.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
…one of the most genius and bizarre pieces of literature I’ve read in a very long time. A Bookish Libraria
…everything was bogged down in tedious and ultimately tiring details… Judging Covers
While the book showed lots of promise, ultimately the ending ruined it for me. Book Addiction