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Pine av Toon Francine
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Pine (urspr publ 2020; utgåvan 2020)

av Toon Francine (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3831766,875 (3.4)2
"They are driving home from the search party when they see her ... The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men. Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she's gone. In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren's mother a decade ago. Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father's turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it's no longer clear who she can trust."--Publisher description.… (mer)
Medlem:OhGraveRaven
Titel:Pine
Författare:Toon Francine (Författare)
Info:BLACK SWAN (2020)
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Pine av Francine Toon (2020)

Ingen/inga
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Visa 1-5 av 17 (nästa | visa alla)
Loved it ! ( )
  MerrylT | May 18, 2023 |
Francine Toon’s eerie and unsettling debut novel Pine is set in a small and remote Highland town, where the nearest supermarket is 23 miles away, and the planned opening of an Aldi has been a topic for discussion for months. It is a community where everybody knows everybody else. So, it’s quite ironic that there’s a mystery at the heart of this story. Just under ten years before the events described in the novel, a young woman named Christine disappeared without a trace. Her partner Niall and their baby Lauren are still struggling to come to terms with this. The villagers gossip about Niall’s possible involvement in this disappearance, their suspicions fuelled by his alcohol problem and evident anger management issues. Lauren, who doesn’t remember her mother, is bullied at school, branded as the daughter of a “witch”. Christine might well have recognised herself as one – before her disappearance, she was into alternative remedies, crystal healing and fortune telling. In secret, Lauren is teaching herself spells and tarot reading from one of her mother’s books - her way of coping with a harsh and dangerous world.

The novel opens on a Halloween night. On their way home in their truck after an evening out “guising”, Lauren and her father come across a strange, white-gowned woman stumbling onto the road. They take her home with them, but the following morning she’s gone, and Lauren notices that Niall seems to have no recollection of the event. Other ghostly and unexplained events take place. Could they be harbingers of an impending tragedy? The disappearance of teenager Ann-Marie unearths memories of a mystery which has never gone away and Lauren – and the whole village – fear the worst.

Francine Toon was raised in the Highlands, and she ably uses a setting familiar to her to create a dark, uncanny atmosphere. The novel’s title refers both to Christine’s name for her daughter (Oren, the Gaelic word for “pine”) and to the forest which surrounds the village. As in traditional fairy tales, the “trees, coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men” evoke dread but also a sense of something timeless and otherworldly. This idea is also visually conveyed in the brilliant, minimalist cover.

The references to folklore, the Highland setting and the supernatural elements reminded me of another debut novel which I had greatly enjoyed – Kerry Andrew’s Swansong. However, there are also some clear differences between the approach of the two authors. Whereas Andrew’s story is steeped in folklore, Toon’s is darker, its Wiccan elements pushing it more towards horror. It also owes much to the contemporary thriller, which has turned the “missing person” trope into a veritable sub-genre.

The result is a gripping, genre-bending book which provides plenty of thrills, supernatural and otherwise. Indeed, in the excitement of the story it’s easy to miss its subtle, realist aspects – particularly the challenges of living in a small, remote community especially if you are a young teenager raring to see the world. This novel should also be read for this.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2019/10/pine-by-francine-toon.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Feb 21, 2023 |
Liked it. Review to come.
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
A solid choice to read if in a small town in wintery woods. Felt the main characters jumped to life. Interesting use of missing time adding much mystery. Compelled to keep reading. Whizzed through it, laundry and other household chores to wait until I was finished.
Had a problem with ending-- seemed rushed --wrapping things up with a nice bow, but it could happen. Okay. Fine read. Enjoyed it. ( )
  JEatHHP | Aug 23, 2022 |
I chose this book for two reasons: 1) that lovely cover; and 2) the fact it's set in the Highlands.

I've stayed in some of the villages surrounded by the pinewoods and I love how quiet and isolated they can feel. The descriptions of the landscape and atmosphere, along with the wildlife, were well written and really put you there.

Unfortunately, I didn't really now what to think of this story, whether I felt like I needed more information or whether I needed less. Maybe as a novella it would have worked better, as there were a lot of events and conversations that had no bearing on the story. There was also a bit of imbalance between necessary and irrelevant information: for example, I don't know the reason for the stone circles or who the guy in the basement was, but I know how to prepare a rabbit for the pot.

There was quite a large cast of characters. I really liked the relationship between Lauren and her father, and I really felt for them both. I didn't connect to any of the other characters - they seemed all quite similar and I forgot who some of them were. These were for the most part secondary characters, so this didn't matter a whole lot, but there were a lot of names to remember.

The blurb for this book promised me a gothic thriller / mystery, and it isn't really what I got. It wasn't really very thrilling: the slow pace didn't really change throughout the book. I felt that too many themes were thrown at the book in order to make it a mystery: witchcraft, tarot, spells, stone circles, ghosts - it was all a bit too much. I don't know what prompted the start of all these events in the first place, or as I've said, the reason for the stone circles. Every time something paranormal happened in the story none of the characters seemed to react the way you would expect. Lauren sees a strange woman outside? Never mind. A ring of stones around something? Not to worry. I thought that was strange. And the mystery was explained at the end, almost as an afterthought, and I didn't find it satisfactory. There were no hints in the book at all, that I picked up on, leading us to this conclusion.

As I read the book, it seemed as though it was based in around the 70s / 80s. The way everyone lived in dark cold houses, someone stoking a boiler ... when someone mentioned a smartphone, it was a bit jarring. I felt that the author forgot what time period the novel was set in for much of the time.

I just don't think this book worked for me. I'd probably pick another book by this author though, as I quite like the way she writes. ( )
  Triduana | Jan 25, 2022 |
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Francine Toonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
McCarron, CathleenBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Little girl, little girl, don't lie to me,
Tell me, where'd you stay last night?
I stayed in the pines where the sun never shines
And I shivered when the cold winds blew.

'In The Pines', traditional American folk song
You ask me to believe in magic.

'Every River', Runrig
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They are driving out for guising when they see her.
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"They are driving home from the search party when they see her ... The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men. Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she's gone. In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren's mother a decade ago. Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father's turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it's no longer clear who she can trust."--Publisher description.

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