Book Review: Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Title: Disclaimer
Author: Renee Knight
Series: None
Published: April 2015
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 304
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 9/10

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of books that require trigger warnings before opening the covers. Now, that is definitely not a bad thing, because I think things that require that happen all too often, and we as the general public only hear about a sliver of a percentage in comparison to the actual number.

So, when I picked up the debut novel of Renee Knight, titled Disclaimer, I thought the story was going in a completely different direction until I hit the big twists and turns. These twists I definitely appreciated, because, though I’m sure there are some out there who would have seen them coming, but the way they were all tied up in the end had me really appreciating the gravity of the novel.

The story begins with our main character, Catherine. She very quickly discovers a book she didn’t know she had, and begins reading it one night, only to discover it paints a picture of a holiday she took with her family when her son was a small child. And, she becomes increasingly disturbed, questioning her husband and investigating the origins of the manuscript.

We see several points of view in this novel, from Catherine the main female character to Stephen, an elderly man who, we discover, wrote the novel. Knight ties these two characters, who are as unalike as can be, into a tangled mess of lies, deceit and mistrust, and thus we are swept on a journey through one woman’s haunting memories and the consequences of one man’s decisions.

I absolutely loved this novel. I believed, based on some narrative early on, the book would go in a completely different direction, and I am glad it took the path it did. I enjoyed the inner monologues of all the characters, and the emotions specific decisions caused later on in the characters’ lives.

The thing I admired the most about this novel was the end. It wasn’t messy, yet wasn’t tidy, and the way our two main characters disentangle themselves is truly a unique and fitting end. These choices show the depth of trust, mistrust and shame any and all survivors of all forms of trauma live with, and I appreciated how this was depicted.

Thanks to this unique book I discovered in the Barnes and Noble clearance section, I cannot wait to read another of Renee Knight’s thrillers.

Check out another review of Renee Knight’s novel Disclaimer here, written by Lucy at The Literary Edit.

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