Mark Haddon’s books, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and A Spot of Bother, are among my favorites. So when I heard he’d written another novel about weird families, I was delighted, to say the least. Sadly, The Red House just didn’t live up to my expectations.
The plot centers on estranged siblings Richard and Angela and the week they share at Richard’s request. Some of the characters are interesting: Melissa, Richard’s sullen stepdaughter whom several characters discover is a bad kisser, and Daisy, Angela’s god fearing teenager. Yet, apart from these two girls, I just couldn’t muster much interest in this unhappy group.
Critics love The Red House – calling it brilliant, sympathetic, and circumspect. I thought it was too lethargic to be circumspect and too stream of consciousness to be brilliant. If you haven’t read Haddon’s A Spot of Bother and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, read them instead. All three books are available in multiple formats through the Metro Library Network.