Monday, 30 July 2012
Review: Alba by Rachel King
The story follows Alba, a single albino schoolteacher who lives with her controlling, judgemental mother who does not allow her to express herself, and who checks her underwear drawer for signs that she has 'been with a man'. Alba has white hair, translucent skin and eyes the colour of rain. Her striking, unusual beauty has caught the attention of her headmaster, Kirkwood, who appears to be suave and charming, the black to Alba's white, but who really wishes to possess Alba for himself. In contrast there is Dutch, the outsider, who wishes to set Alba free. After the sudden death of her mother, Alba finds herself at once free to pursue her own interests, but at the same time trapped between these two very different men and their equally manipulative desires.
My main criticism is that I found the writing style to be a little bit too poetic, as if the author was consciously trying to be clever at all times. There are parts which are very well written and enjoyable, but sometimes I found myself having to reread a paragraph a few times just to figure out what was actually going on.
The story itself was interesting and contained enough twists and turns to keep me hooked, but I guess it just wasn't really to my taste. It was a bit too dark and twisted and I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable. However, that was just my personal preference, and this story is otherwise very unusual and powerful, and remained in my mind for a long time afterwards despite my criticisms.
Alba gets 3 out of 5