ARC Book Review: The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley
ashley | I loved The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley so much. Not necessarily because of the story, though I enjoyed the story quite a bit, but because of how downright unlovable the narrator Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Stash was. She was a miserable woman who disliked almost everyone and thought truly awful things about them. It was so refreshing to read a character’s inner dialogue that was just so frank and awful.
She was spiteful and jealous and emotional, yet all the while coming off so stoic and unemotional. I found her an absolutely fascinating character and she had me wrapped right around her finger, rooting for her the whole time she was planning on committing truly awful acts against the people who love her. There is no doubt that Betty was a bit of a psychopath, so peeking into her mind was like traveling to a whole other dimension.
The story itself is basically a spiteful revenge plot against Betty’s younger sister Gloria, a Beloved, who in Betty’s eyes, has stolen pretty much everything from her — her best friend, her boyfriend, and most importantly, her House, which Betty is unnaturally obsessed with. The longer we read on, the more Betty becomes obsessed and paranoid and spiteful, planning truly awful things to rid herself of the obstacles – and people – who are standing in the way of her getting what she felt was her right.
I loved how the book never really directly made mention of any mental issues with Betty and that the people in her life really had little idea about what was really going on in her head. I think it really represented that seclusion and how alone an illness (for lack of a better term) can make you feel, even if Betty herself wasn’t fully aware of what she was dealing with.
I genuinely couldn’t get enough of Betty and couldn’t tell if I was rooting for her, or rooting for her to get caught. There were times I literally just had to shrug and shake my head as she started off on another destructively obsessive path without any hesitation about whether it was the best or smart thing to do. She just impulsively acted to feed her own desires. It was fascinating to watch this creature at work.
The only thing holding this back from being a great 5-star book for me was that I found it dragged a little bit in places and I didn’t fully love the ending. I didn’t hate it and I was never bored, but there were moments where I felt my momentum and excitement slow. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and this dark look into the mind of a obviously disturbed individual and how that affected her life and those around her.
april 3, 2018