'The Crooked Little Pieces' by Sophia Lambton
Lost are the creatures destined never to be understood.
1926. Professor Josef van der Holt obtains a post at an all-women’s college overseas. Stuffy London suddenly becomes the site for the unseemly exploits of his half-Dutch and half-German daughters Anneliese and Isabel. When tragedy carves out a hollow in their lives, an ailing soul sends the sororal twins along a jagged path: while Isabel takes flight in sensual hedonism Anneliese skirts danger in her role as sleuth. Elusive are the sentiments they seek: swift stopovers of fleeting feeling. Seditious loves and passions scarcely probable veer each away from the predictable.
And when the obvious appears unstoppable the opposite may achingly be true.
Spanning the twentieth century’s five most volatile decades, The Crooked Little Pieces is a series about inextricable entanglements. Perverse relationships pervade a glossary of scenes. Plots criss-cross over a rich tapestry of twists and tension-fuelling characters: some relatable, others opaque and many “crooked”.
It is television drama. Novelised.
BLOG TOUR REVIEW
Review for 'The Crooked Little Pieces' by Sophia Lambton.
Read and reviewed for Sophia Lambton.
Publication date 25th May 2022.
This is the first book I have read by this author.
I was originally drawn to this book by its gorgeous cover and gripping sounding synopsis and title.
This novel consists of a prologue and 43 chapters. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!
This book is based in Zurich, Switzerland 🇨🇭 and London, England 🏴 .
This book is written in third person perspective with the main protagonist being Professor Josef Van Der Holt, Anneliese and Isabel. The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.
I will start by saying that this isn't my usual choice of genre so I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the storyline but I was looking forward to trying it out and I am very pleased to say I did as I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!! The storyline is unique and Sophia's fantastic writing skills and descriptions take you on an journey into the past with Josef, Annelise and Isabel in this family saga. I was so engrossed in this book that I seemed to completely disappear into the storyline. I absolutely loved travelling around to different places with the characters and when I came to the end I was devastated to unpack my suitcase!! I believe this is the first family saga that I have actually read and it was definitely a good one to begin my journey on. I must admit it take me a little time to get into it but when I did I became completely engrossed throughout until the very last page. It is filled with emotions, history, family, love, loss and everything you'd expect in the complicated lives of this family. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Isabele and Anneliese change throughout and go through different stages from being close to tested. This book is exactly how I imagined a family saga being and how they should be. It is just like looking through a window at the family's lives through the years.
A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Sophia on creating an absolutely incredible journey through this family's lives!!
The whole novel is told chronologically through the alternate perspectives of the sisters, and occasionally that of their father. Through dialogue we see the relationship between the sisters as being fraught, tested and sometimes close; we see how they react to different scenarios. There is so much in this novel - the writing at times is lyrical and poetic and some of the situations keep you asking for more. It is as if the reader is being gifted glimpses without ever knowing the full story - we are always wanting more. The ending does not bring us resolution, it is not even really a cliff-hanger. The final page is almost like the end of a chapter and we are just waiting to turn the page to start the next one, we are left waiting to see what the sisters do next.
Although I was devastated to come to the end, I was absolutely over the moon when I discovered this was the first book in a series and I cannot wait to get hold of the second one to read more from this family.
It wasn't just the storyline I was completely invested in but also the characters. The storyline begins with the family of four. We meet the father Professor Josef Van Dee Holt. I found him to be a bit of a strange character and at times he seemed overprotective of his children and seemed to not want them to learn or grow but then at others he seemed quite dismissive of them. He is a neurologist whose ideas are considered outdated with the times. We meet his wife and Isabel and Anneliese's mother Elise. If I considered Josef strange then Elsie's character was absolutely bizarre. She seems to have no emotions or feelings towards her children at all and spends her life in her room. She has to be told that they are going on holiday in order to move. We also meet half Dutch and half German twin sisters Anneliese and Isabel who we meet at 6 years of age and who were born 6 days apart. However, we do meet them briefly in the prologue when they are 48 years old. The sisters are like chalk and cheese when it comes to their personalities. They are both talented in very different ways. Anneliese is a book worm as a child and reminded me of myself at that age constantly having my nose in the book. Anneliese ends up in medical school and her main interest is psychiatry which makes her unpopular. Due to her interest in the sciences her father seems to bond better with her than he does with Isabel. She has no interest in relationships apart from with her psychiatrist. Isabel on the other hand could play complicated pieces on both the cello and piano at a very young age but is unable to perform in front of others so struggles in her career but she is also hedonistic as an adult. . We follow these two very different twins from their childhood into their twenties. Sophia's creates very strong characters with alot of character building throughout ensuring the characters come alive and seem to jump out of the book. This is where I have a confession. I loved the book but was not a fan of the sisters at all, or Josef for that matter!! This shocked myself as I have never enjoyed a book that has characters I did not like so a huge WELL done to Sophia on a first!! I found Isabel and and Anneliese to be very self centred as children and although I seemed to have more of a bond with Anneliese due to seeing myself in her as a child I was disgusted by some of their "bratty" behaviours. However, this would not have been helped by Josef bending to their every needs and endorsing their behaviours by letting them getting away with too much and giving in to them. However, as adults Anneliese annoyed me more with the actions she takes after seeing her psychiatrist and I have more sympathy towards Isabel and her situation. I am looking forward to meeting them again and seeing where their lives take them next!!
Congratulations Sophia on what promises to be a hugely successful series!!! I cannot wait to get stuck into more of your books!!! Here is to your next success 🥂
Overall an absolutely addictive family saga/drama that comes to life at the turn of every page.
Genres covered in this book include Romance Sagas, Family Sagas, Romance, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Classic Fiction, Romantic Fiction, Contemporary Romance and Literary Fiction amongst others.
I would recommend this book to the above as well as absolutely everyone looking for an absolutely addictive and unputdownable page turning family saga/drama.
This book is just 99p to purchase on kindle free and £8.65 in paperback via Amazon at time of review which I think is an absolute bargain.
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Sophia Lambton became a professional classical music critic at the age of seventeen, when she began writing for Musical Opinion, Britain's oldest music magazine. Since then she has contributed to The Guardian, Bachtrack, MusicOMH, BroadwayWorld, BBC Music Magazine and Operawire, and conducted operatic research round the world for a non-fiction work set to be published in 2023.
Crepuscular Musings - her recently spawned cultural Substack - provides vivid explorations of tv and cinema together with reviews of operas, concerts and recitals at sophialambton.substack.com.
The Crooked Little Pieces: Volume 1 is the first tome of her first literary saga. Currently she's working on her second.
You can sign up for news of her releases at https://www.thecrepuscularpress.com/release-alerts
Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crooked-Little-Pieces-instalment-20th-century-ebook/dp/B09XPB1BTX/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=1KR3W1X7MW3KU&keywords=The+crooked+little+pieces&qid=1668445914&sprefix=the+crooked+little+pieces+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-1