Posted 20 hours ago

Metronome: The 'unputdownable' BBC Two Between the Covers Book Club Pick

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The sense of beauty of the island’s rugged landscape becomes lost with everyday living, time, and experience. Survival on ‘The Limits ’ is key, based on 8-hourly pills from a timed clock dispensary that inadvertently tether them both to the island, to each other, their quest for freedom, and what they do to achieve it. I could chart it by my emotions: there’s a line in it that made me closer to feeling sick than any other for years and years. The book is short and very pacy, with a lot in it to hold my interest and I finished it in two sessions on a particularly long train journey. The narrative ticktocks between the daily routine and the characters' inner thoughts, building tension as if towards a countdown however just like a metronome it simply becomes repetitive.

I don't enjoy when a book relies on flashbacks to tell the story; I feel like if the story is good enough a chronological approach is just fine, but I realise this is a personal nit-pick. Overall, I thought the story was very complex, interesting and really dived into what isolation can do to people.It’s best to go in knowing very little, because Watson’s intricately layered novel reveals its secrets slowly and it is all the more brilliant for it.

While there is an argument to be that as it's a story of Aina and Whitney's "present" they wouldn't be reflect on a past that they haven't interacted with, the fact that the story is told in the third person means that there is scope there in the writing to include it.This is an example of a great synopsis that really gives a sense of the plot: unexplained events, suspicion within a marriage, and curiosity about what else might be out there.

I had approached this book with high hopes: The premise of two people being exiled to a remote island for 12 years as a punishment is intriguing. The prose was gorgeous, filled with ideas around human feelings and capabilities, but ultimately, the book sucked. The piano is central to the discovery of their 'crime' and their subsequent banishment to the island and it is a clever reminder of the time that ticks by between their eight hourly doses of medication.There is trekking, hiking, mapping, swimming, sailing, boating, farming, crofting – down to cutting peat ­– to stimulate our senses.

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