I absolutely loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, so when I saw author Mark Haddon had written another novel, I just had to read it.
The Red House is the story of Angela and Richard, middle aged siblings, who spend a week together on holiday with their families, having avoided each other for 20 years.
The four adults, three teenagers and eight year old Benjy, describe what happens during that week from their own perspectives, with the story skipping quickly from one character to the next. Many of the characters have traumas to deal with during the week, from both the past and the present. As the holiday progresses, they get to know each other and also learn about themselves – sometimes things they didn’t want to learn.
Through it all, Benjy bounces along happily, playing with his toys and making up stories, blissfully unaware of much of what is going on around him. The portrayal of Benjy and the way the adults interact with him is spot-on, as is that of the teenagers and their dramas.
There are a few strange paragraphs – when the characters are thinking random thoughts – which I didn’t enjoy. But on the whole this is an enjoyable and funny book, which is moving without being challenging.
Definitely worth a read!