Disclaimer: This book was provided for me free of charge via netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis (from Amazon)
The Whipping Club explores the sacrificial secrets we keep to protect our loved ones and the impact that uncovered secrets have on marriage, family and society. Both a wrenching family drama and a harrowing suspense story, it chronicles an interfaith couple’s attempt in 1960′s Ireland to save their son from corrupt institutions.
Despite it taking a while to get going I ended up enjoying this book quite a bit. However there were a few situational aspects which tried to bar my path. First off there was the title, come on The Whipping Club? Sounds like some sort of erotic novel, if I hadn’t been able to see the cover that title would have put me off right away. (In fact if you type The Whipping Club into Amazon you come up with this and 2 erotic novels). Then there’s the fact it was automatically approved on Netgalley…and not because I’m on the publisher’s authorised list. Just that suggests they are having trouble getting people to review it. Last, and this can be the real killer, I got a spam comment advertising it, completely unrelated to the content of the post, and without it even being a hey would you like to read this? spam comment. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I had almost finished the book at that point it would have annoyed me enough to make me give up on it, but not without some rant about sales tactics. (Which does seem to be what this review is turning in to, I’m sorry).
Anyway onto he book. Well lets see. It did take quite a while to really get going.Actually no, that’s not quite true. The first chapter was one of those chapters that really shows promise for a book, and in a way that meant it took a while to get going simply because the following chapters didn’t really meet up to those promises. To be completely honest I don’t even think the first chapter fitted into the rest of the book, it set some background but I think it actually may have been better to gradually reveal that background information. It might not have meant that the book started off with such a punch but I think overall it would have kept the reader more riveted as they found out the family’s secrets.
After the one secret had been revealed the book really took off, but I think it actually would have been more interesting up to that point as secrets were gradually revealed to the reader. I prefered the book after the secret was revealed, the extra storyline was more interesting and held my attention better than the storyline had before. I still can’t say I liked the characters though, if anything I disliked the mother. That father was okay but seemed completely different in the first chapter, and any area which was looking back than he did in the ‘present’. It wasn’t different in a good way either, if anything worse.
I don’t know I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it exactly it’s just so many elements were a bit meh. And the good elements? Well they were a bit like reading one of those Please, Daddy No! type books…