ARC Review: Demi – Gods by Eliza Robertson

A bold debut novel for those who loved Emma Cline’s The Girls and Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers–a story of love, lust, and the spaces in between, from a “captivating” (New York Times) new voice in fiction.

It is 1950, and nine-year-old Willa’s sheltered childhood is about to come to an end when her two new stepbrothers arrive at her family’s summer home in British Columbia. As Willa’s older sister pairs off with the older of these boys, Willa finds herself alone in the off-kilter company of the younger, Patrick. When, one afternoon, Patrick lures Willa into a dilapidated rowboat, Willa embarks upon an increasingly damaging relationship with Patrick, one that will forever reconfigure her understanding of herself and her place in a menacing, male-dominated world.
Demi-Gods traces the tumultuous years of Willa’s coming-of-age, as she is drawn further into Patrick’s wicked games. Though they see each other only a handful of times, each of their encounters is increasingly charged with sexuality and degradation. When Willa finally realizes the danger of her relationship with Patrick, she desperately tries to reverse their dynamic, with devastating results.

Daring, singular, and provocative, Demi-Gods explores a girl’s attempt to make a life of her own choosing in a world where woman’s independence is suspect, a world that threatens to claim a woman’s body as a mere object for men’s pleasure. A sensitive, playful, and entirely original evocation of the dualities within ourselves and our history, Eliza Robertson’s debut novel announces the arrival of one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary literature.

Disclaimer: A huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for providing me with a review copy of this book. The thoughts, opinions and feelings expressed in this review, are however, my own! 

Okay; I am gonna do my best to actually be unbiased in my review; even with all the feelings this book induced in me. On the face of it; this book looks to be a short read, but it took me a week to get through it!

It was the premise of the book that had me requesting to review; a coming of age book in an era that had the most interesting times – but in all honesty; it’s the flayed writing style that pulls down the book right from the start.

This book is a journey of sexual awakenings of a young teenage girl in the mid-1950s – a journey that happened in the midst of a dysfunctional familial relationships and not so ideal role models.

This journey of sexual awakenings, which at times ended up being not only cruel; disgusting and cringe – worthy – but all of these could have been just as interesting as the blurb, if the writing style had been strong enough to support the story!

Willa and Patrick’s “relationship” is honestly at the forefront of the book; interspaced with the esteem issues that any young girl goes through; but the world depicted here seems more fantastical than real (including hints of orgy, almost pedophilia and sexual deviancy!) that is so flagrantly displayed that it feels as if it could not have been real, especially in the era that was in the background here.

The plot twist, that honestly should have happened in about 50%-60% , even if I highly doubt it could have saved the book; happened at about 98% and didn’t have the grace to save the plot!

I do, lastly believe; that if the writing style could have been a bit stronger, I do believe it would have been an enjoyable venture.

⭐ ⭐ .5

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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