Terence Cave, owner of Cave Antiques, has already experienced the tragedies of his mother’s suicide and his wife’s murder when his teenage son, Reuben, is killed in a grotesque accident. His remaining child, Bryony, has always been the family’s golden girl and Terence comes to realise that his one duty in life is to protect her from the world’s malign forces, whatever that may take. But as he starts to follow his grieving daughter’s movements and enforce a draconian set of rules, his love for Bryony becomes a possessive force that leads to destruction.
Why I Bought It
With my obsession for any books by Matt Haig, I couldn’t help myself and I had to get this one. However, it had been sat on my TBR shelf for almost a year before I picked it up mainly because the blurb didn’t sound like something that I would usually be into and (I hate to say this) I judged it by its cover.
The Possession of Mr Cave is the story of a father’s mental breakdown after the tragic loss of many people close to him. Terrence is mentally unwell through the whole novel and is fighting his dead son’s influence on his mind. It’s completely disturbing, surprising and scary.
I’ll start this off by saying that I know that this book wasn’t for me. As I said, the blurb didn’t sound like anything I would usually enjoy reading and I only bought the book because it was by Matt Haig. But just because the book wasn’t for me didn’t stop me from still giving it 3/5.
The Possession of Mr Cave is very Shakespearean which isn’t a surprise coming from Matt Haig, as he has written a few novels inspired by Shakespeare’s plays. This is written as if it is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, so if you do enjoy that sort of thing, the book will be perfect. To begin with, it reminded me a lot of Romeo and Juliet because the novel begins at the end with Terrence Cave explaining that he has killed his daughter, and the novel is a letter to her, retelling exactly how the events led to her death. I did quite like this format, because it meant the suspense rose throughout the whole novel and left me guessing as to why he would kill his own daughter right up until the end.
I’m not the biggest fan of Shakespeare, which is why I feel that this was just not the book for me. Like I said, this reads exactly like a Shakespearean Tragedy, which I think in a way is also why I struggled to get into it. The language seemed clunky and drawn out in places and made it a bit hard to read, as well as Terrence’s conversations with his own mind.
It’s disturbing, and that is exactly what pulled me in. Terrence takes his protectiveness over Bryony too far to the point where I was wondering where his relationship with her was going to lead. I found it upsetting that nobody around Terrence spoke to him about how he was too protective of his daughter, and also how despite everything, nobody took the time to see if Terrence was okay.
Genre: Contemporary/Thriller/Horror (A bit of everything, really!)
Recommended to: Fans of Shakespeare’s plays
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Have you read it? Let me know in the comments!