by Cassondra Windwalker
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Pub Date 23 Jul 2020 | Archive Date 13 Aug 2020
You can call me Ella. You generally assign me a whole host of other preposterous monikers. I think the least imaginative name I’ve heard is “the devil”, but I’ll answer to it if I must.
After making the courageous decision to leave her abusive husband, Perdie and her three young children start over and finally find the safety and love they deserve. But years later, when tragedy strikes, Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave has led them to this moment.
If she were given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she?
In a frantic bid to protect her family, Perdie makes a deal to do just that. But in a world where the devil pulls the strings, can Perdie really change the past?
Brimming with enlightened observations and brilliant voice, Idle Hands is a haunting examination of grief, resilience, and what we’d give to spend another moment with the ones we love.
A Note From the Publisher
If you enjoyed reading Idle Hands, we'd really appreciate seeing your honest review on Amazon. Thank you and happy reading, Agora Books.
Average rating from 220 members
Idle Hands follows Perdie and her 3 kids struggling with an abusive husband. I don't want to give much else away because that would ruin the fun but I did speed through this in one day. I just wanted to know what would happen to everyone and if Perdie would be able to save her kids in the end. I found Ella, the narrating devil to be intriguing and offered some interesting insights about the human condition. I enjoyed this read and would recommend it.
Honestly, I requested this because of that cover- amazing!!!
Idle Hands follows Perdie and her children struggling with an abusive husband. I read this in a day because I had to know what happened next. Our narrator offered interesting insights into why we do things the way we do- I really enjoyed that part.
This was a really great read that I'm glad I judged by it's cover.
Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy.
This novel takes you on a journey with Perdie, who is a mother of 3, and she is forced to make a decision between the (perceived) mental or the (actual) physical wellbeing of her children. She feels she made the right choice given the circumstances she was given. But that's the thing about choices once they are made you must live with the consequences… or do you?!
This novel is an extremely well written, quick little drive down the paths that we choose in life. About the love, despair and thought that is the background of those great decisions and how easily you can start to question yourself when times get tough.. and like with any good read they always do!
I have read many "cringe" worthy books, books with intensely dark subject matter but Windwalker brings such humanity and care to her characters that some of the scenes laid out upon these pages were extremely hard for me to read. That being said you have been warned if domestic abuse is a deal breaker for you, you may want to sit this one aside.
If you can continue past the moments that make your soul shutter, this novel is an enormously powerful and thought provoking one, I do wish it was a little longer and went into a deeper study of some of the more interesting characters but even still this one is not to be missed.
This is such an amazing book, I don’t even know how to start this review. I actually waited almost an entire day to collect all my thoughts because I wanted to do justice to this book.
Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker is a book full of raw feeling. The topics, even the subject matter, that Windwalker writes about here are hard-hitting and she doesn’t flinch from presenting them as such. The decisions we make can seem to cause a butterfly effect, determining the course of our lives. However, are these single choices really that influential or have we simply taken the weight of the world upon ourselves? I don’t think the question is truly answered but perhaps after subsequent reads, things might get clearer.
By writing Ella as an omniscient being sharing the life of Perdie with us, the bigger questions regarding choice and morality were seamlessly interwoven into the story without disrupting the flow. It felt like a Greek chorus and it was refreshing to see such a device used in contemporary fiction. This was a bold creative decision and I love it, though I have a sneaking suspicion that it might not be for everyone.
I understand on some level why the ending is left as such, but I really do want more. Would it have been possible to include a denouement of some sort to Perdie’s story? It feels almost brutal that after everything she’s been through, she doesn’t even get one. Though that would be committing the fallacy of assuming that everyone’s lives will be tidily tied up like a main character’s. I should stop rambling before I give everything away, but this just shows how cerebral the book is despite it packing a visceral punch. It really isn’t everyday that a book comes along and does both so well.
I had to wait some time after finishing this book before reviewing. It was unlike any other book I have read! The style and format of Idle Hands was thought-provoking and interesting to read. The characters felt like real people very quickly, especially Perdie and Rachel. The story was a difficult read at times. Please be aware that it deals with domestic violence in a very raw and real way. I had a feeling of dread the whole time. My only complaint would be that I wanted more of the story. It seemed to end very quickly. I want to be respectful of spoilers, so don't want to spoil the experience, but I definitely had unanswered questions! I thank #NetGalley for the opportunity to read such an emotional book. #IdleHands is well worth your time. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
Idle Hands was such a strange and engrossing read! The most interesting thing about this book was that it is narrated by “the devil”, who actually goes by Ella. Periodically throughout the novel, it shifts to Ella’s perspective, where she gives insight into Perdie’s character as well as the nature of choices, good and evil, and indulgences. I really loved Ella’s character and liked switching from Perdie’s life to Ella’s recollections and musings.
Perdie herself sort of labeled herself as the victim in every situation, which I can understand given her abusive marriage. However, I didn’t feel a connection to her character and was mostly reading because I wanted to know what happened. I did like all of her children, though, and I think they all had very detailed, unique personalities even as young children.
The plot, above all, was just amazing. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, first waiting to read about “the accident”, and then waiting for the conclusion and to know what choice Perdie would make.
This book blew me away and had me hooked from the beginning
Perdie with her 3 children in tow escapes her violent husband in hopes to provide a better future for everyone. But an other being has plans and has been watching, waiting to intervene.
I haven't read anything by this author before but Cassandra Windwalker writes a beautifully suspenseful novel on what you would sacrifice for love and hope of a better future. With two narratives perfectly entwined throughout. Definitely one to buy and one you won't be able to put down
Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker, publication date: 23 Jul 2020
Idle hands are the Devil’s playground, and Cassondra Windwalker uses diabolical influence in this eloquent and disturbing portrayal of domestic violence.
Ella is the Devil. They (Ella) is a fun-loving monster, dedicated not so much to evil for its own sake, as to corrupting those who would otherwise be good. Ella works in the shadows of people’s minds, nudging and cajoling, engendering chaos and destruction. To say that Ella encourages evil is to miss the point; They acts out of mischief and spite, for Their own amusement, as a salve to the boredom of immortality.
So, when Perdie decides to escape her abusive and violent husband, and take herself and her children beyond his reach, Ella’s attention is piqued. The husband is a respectable university lecturer, and almost nobody knows of the violence that happens behind closed doors. The children do: they are terrorised and, even though they are young, have learnt to not see.
With her children, Perdie makes her escape. They travel half way across America, to Colorado. She has almost no money and limited skills, and although she manages to rescue herself and her children from her husband, she works two jobs just to pay the bills. So busy is she that she barely sees her children. But they are safe.
A second move to a lakeside, remote town, turns out to be a good move. She meets and later marries a decent man, Reilly. He doesn’t earn the money her former husband did, but he takes good care of her. He constantly reminds her that she doesn’t have to double-guess what he wants but rather can make her own mind up; she doesn’t have to fear that a disagreement will lead to a battering. The children get on with him. Time passes.
And then the accident happens. Ella sees her opening; They offers a deal and Perdie accepts.
That is as much of the plot I will reveal – and it’s the first half of the book. The second half is the Faustian deal that Perdie accepts.
Idle Hands succeeds in combining two themes. The first is the metaphysical theme of the nature of evil. Although Ella is at times a little long winded in Their thoughts – and sometimes is used by the author as a narrator – They is a new take on a problem as old as our species. There are times when Ella is engaging and funny, and times when They is repellent in a very eloquent way.
The other theme is the under-explored theme in fiction of domestic violence. The opening scenes – about the first fifth of the book – is gripping. Perdie’s escape had me on tenterhooks, urging her to get on with it before her abusive husband returned, unsure if she would, fearful of the consequences if she didn’t. It opened my eyes to the fear that many women live with, day in and day out; it made me ashamed to be part of the same gender as Perdie’s husband.
The contrast of Perdie’s life in Colorado, with Reilly, was excellent: the author walked the fine line between portraying a person who has recovered, while not masking that some of the damage is permanent. The eldest of Perdie’s three children was too scarred to recover, but the other two had my laughing at quotidian teenager issues, sympathetically portrayed.
This is all the more disturbing in the second half of the book, which returns to Perdie’s pre-escape life. The constant threat, the fear, the unrelenting shifting or blame and moral responsibility, are depicted with a frank brutality. There was nothing to laugh at, no joy. Only victims – and Ella in raptures.
Idle Hands is a very good book. The characters are people I know, the pace is just right, and the overall effect chilling. Domestic violence is something that is much talked about, but little understood; this is the first time I’ve seen it dissected in fiction. Read it.
Idle Hands follows the story of Perdie, a woman who escapes her abusive husband for the sake of her children and moves to Colorado, where she meets Reilly and starts a new life with him.
The novel combines elements of fantasy with real issues, as it is narrated by the Devil as they follow a survivor of domestic violence. The Devil takes advantage of people's weakness and is happy to wait patiently until opportunity opens to strike a deal with them. You know the house always wins so the story is particularly heartbreaking as Perdie has gone through so much, you feel like she can't really catch a break.
This novel wasn't like anything I have read before. There's always a sense of doubt when reviewing a different kind of genre or writing style as I always wonder "will I do this book justice?" the answer is clear to me: my review of Idle Hands will probably fall short and if I could give it more than 5 stars I certainly would!
Disclosure: I'd like to thank the publisher for my advanced reader copy. This is my honest review.
Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker is both a compelling narrative (or two) as well as an extended meditation on how humans ascribe blame and responsibility for life's many irregularities. This isn't so much metaphysics, which deals with what is the nature of reality, so much as a combination of moral philosophy and ethics coupled with human psychology as it grapples with the good and the bad that happens in life.
Most books that combine an explicit element of theorizing (in this case the voice of Ella or Adversary) with a narrative tend to succeed far more in one of the areas and fall short in the other. This is the rare exception that works very well on both counts. I think that is because Adversary comments throughout the book, sometimes longer sections and sometimes key comments in the middle of the narrative itself. In this way, they (the narrative and Ella) are speaking to each other as much as they are speaking to the reader.
I found myself in broad agreement with much of what Adversary says. It highlights many of our foibles as well as our inconsistencies. The disconnect between what we often claim to believe and how we actually act or think, which often, if looked at closely, is counter to our alleged big picture belief system. How we rationalize things to suit our needs or desires, which are often not in our best interests.
I don't want to give away much of the story or the world as Adversary puts it forward. I think one of the strengths of the book is that it does not cater to any particular worldview the reader may have but allows the reader to indeed apply it to their views. Regardless of your opinion on religion, or which religion you might subscribe to, you can frame the comments and ideas within your views and then ponder the questions that that dynamic will generate.
I would recommend this to readers who enjoy domestic drama as well as those who like novels that are designed to make you think about our assumptions and blind spots. I'm not sure how I would have used it but I think, if I were still teaching, I would have found a way to incorporate this into a course. If you belong to a book group or have a group of friends who enjoy talking about books, I would recommend this for both the topic of domestic violence as well as human morality and psychology.
Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker is a book that is hard to categorise, One of my favourite tropes in any medium, be it comics, films or books is the idea of "what if"- it opens up so many doors and can take a story in any direction, and it is just such an idea that lies at the heart of this original and engrossing book.
Narrated by a character who calls herself "Ella" though apparently she is better known as the devil, the book tells the story of a woman named Perdie who will face Ella's temptation when she is in the depths of despair. We meet Perdie as she takes the brave step of leaving her abusive husband and taking her three small children to live in Colorado. It is a difficult decision, but the only one she can make, as she fears that he will turn his attention and his fists to the children sooner or later. Setting up a new home is difficult and the children struggle to make friends and fit in at school but eventually things settle down and Perdie marries again happily. While their life may not be perfect, it seems largely happy until one tragic night when disaster strikes and Ella takes advantage of the opportunity to give Perdie a chance to change the past. If she never leaves her first husband , will it avert the tragedy that has ripped apart her new life?
This is a powerful and moving account of life with an abusive spouse and parent, and the subject matter makes it a difficult read at times. I found it really interesting that the author tracked the long term consequences of the violence and abuse and described them so well. There is a lot packed into a relatively short book, and I found myself reading it in a single sitting as I was so invested in Perdie and her family. I also really enjoyed the interjections from Ella scattered throughout the book , they gave an interesting "outside " perspective on human behaviour and psychology. For those of you who like your books neatly wrapped up, this one definitely has a more open ending, but in all honesty I think that is the only one that would fit with the rest of the book.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
I love books that make me question EVERYTHING. I was expecting the narrative from Ella to be more serious but it is at times quite cheeky and sarcastic which is very clever considering the topics discussed (domestic violence and abuse). I cannot wait to read more from this author as this novel was original, brilliant and mind-bendingly and philosophically thought- provoking whilst still remaining accessible due to the colloquial voice of Ella..
This is a gripping read and I could empathise with Perdie and her children and the impact her husband's violence has had on her and on the mental health of their children. ( I work in Safeguarding in Education and see the results of this kind of behaviour far too often).
5 stars for this rollercoaster of a ride.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.
This is propably one of the best books that i've read this year. I can't tell much about it because the thing is: the mysterious aurea of the story and the felling of not knowing what was going to happen, was surely the reason that makes this reading so great and so fucking exciting.
What I can tell is: the narrator is going to make you crazy and doubt everything about humanity and its strangers rules and dynamics - yeah, we have a kind of niilism going on here too. We have a lot of familly drama and, offortunally, a lot of domestic and psycology violence.
The plot is everything and live for it.
Please read this book if u have the chance.
“Trim your wick, lift your shade. Cast that shine a little closer. I do get weary of the darkness”.
This book was such a unique read. It’s told in multiple voices. One being “Ella” or the devil. I didn’t know how much I would I enjoy that POV, but it really did give some additional background to the story. This book shows how 1 decision can change your whole life and would you life be better or worse if you didn’t make that decision.
Thank you to NetGalley and Agora books for the ARC and the opportunity to read this early.
Oh my goodness, this book is amazing! Perdie is struggling with a dilemma which many victims of domestic abuse face. Should she leave her violent and manipulative husband Matt and risk her children (Hannah, Rachel and Tad) growing up in the possible poverty of a single parent family struggling to make ends meet or stay, protect her children, take the blows in secret so they can have the chance of the best in life. ‘Ella’ is ‘The Adversary’ better known to us humans as the Devil, whose job it is to tempt, to offer alternatives which is a game in return for a ‘win’. The story is told extremely cleverly in circular form though Perdie with interjections and reflections by Ella.
First of all, I flew through this book in one session that’s how good I think it is. It is gripping, very well written, clever and original. I love Ella’s observations on humans which are pertinent, accurate, witty, cynical and wise. Yes, wise! I don’t wish to spoil Ella’s thoughts on the nature of mankind but it’s philosophical and thought provoking. The story with Perdie’s life with Matt is desperately sad and your heart breaks at the impact he has on the mental well being of his children to say nothing of the physical effects on Perdie. Whichever route Perdie is tempted to choose there is a huge price to pay. There are some shocking scenes, stark choices and heartbreaking tests. The end is excellent as Ella reflects on the outcome.
Overall, this is compulsive and gripping reading, it makes you think and reflect on the human condition. This is a book I will definitely remember. Highly recommended.
The cover is brilliant!
With thanks to NetGalley and Agora Books
Wow! such unusual read. Narrated by the devil himself we meet Perdie, a woman at a crossroads in her life. At times a sliding doors/road not taken journey, but also a great look at life, this book was a definite could not put downer, in fact I read it end to end in a matter of hours. I needed a break from my normal genre and boy did this provide a good one.
This story follows Perdie and her three children, living with an abusive husband. She constantly struggles with the options in her situation: does she run, or does she stay? Is it better to stick with the devil you know than the devil you don’t? What choices big or small set us on our paths? How are our real options different than the perceived options? What motivates us, and what shapes us?
This was such an interesting concept. I’m intrigued by the Butterfly Effect, and books that explore the ‘what if’s’ of the path not taken. While following Perdie’s story, the Devil themselves jumps in periodically to give us their perspective. I really enjoyed this style, and the writing overall was very good. I don’t want to give anything away, since this was such a unique read! Quick and thought-provoking ⭐️ 4.5/5
This book blew me away. The story itself, both versions, was so heartbreaking and real that I was reduced to tears. Ella's musings, interspersed throughout the stories, were written incredibly beautifully and were so thought-provoking, that when I finished the book I just sat there in tears and reflected on it. Then I went back to the beginning and started reading it again.
Oh, how decadent. A novel narrated by the devil himself, otherwise known as, Ella.. I would have thought him to be more maniacal. He seems quite bored with us, unless we choose to stand and shine our light. The enemy is mesmerized by the light of those that will not be consumed by this world, by those that embrace their differences and accepts life on its terms.
So, here comes Miss Perdie. A woman that believes she is a victim of circumstance. If she can just hang on a little while longer, all will be well.. In the short term or in the long term. Either way, it's not okay. Sometimes we delude ourselves, and in that delusion, we are not the only person harmed. Sometimes stuff happens no matter what we do, no matter what decisions we make.
In desperation, what kind of choices will a person make? What does Ella find so fascinating about this family? Whose light shines the brightest and what does the devil get out of this? Finished this book in one sitting to find out the answers. Well worth the read. Definitely not what you expect. Not every story has a happy ending.
Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and Cassondra Windwalker for an ARC in return for an honest review.
I’m numb! My hands are shaking. This is intense. What I feel after reading this book is equal to be in car which crushes into a wall or being stabbed in the heart brutally several times.
Perdie reminded of William Styron’s Sophie: she doesn’t decide which child of hers will leave behind but she has to decide between two dangerous paths which may result with more casualties she can ever imagine.
Perdie wants to leave her abuser husband for a long time. Her husband’s growing violent tendencies around their son is the last straw. She may endure his physical and mental abuse but she cannot let him harm her children.
She has to protect two daughters and her son to live in a dangerous territory. But what will happen to her children if she finally achieves to leave this violent life behind: how could she let her children live in poverty as she barely makes enough money to provide their needs by working at two different jobs, leaving them alone in the house broken hearted. How could she be a good mother without giving them better education opportunities and a bright future?
The adversary-the evil- watches each step she takes and sneakily waits for her to choose a path ends with heartbreak and grief.
I don’t want to give more spoilers about the story. I could only say it’s truly heart wrenching, impactful, thought provoking, depressing, soul crushing story about a mother who is ready to do whatever it takes for protecting her children in expanse her own life!
It makes us question our own decisions we make for our own children and makes us think deeply what we would do if we were in Perdie’s shoes.
The parts of the inner monologues of the evil were also brilliant, smart but at some parts they were too long and too philosophical for me which affected the intense pace of the story. But instead of that especially blood freezing, shocking conclusion was jaw dropping.
This is one of the surprising and mind spinning novels I’ve read for a long time and I’m looking forward to read more works of the author.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Agora Books for sharing this incredible ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions.
This book wasn't at all what I expected. However, it has to be one of the most unique and fascinating books I have ever read. Beautifully written and exploring difficult decisions and their consequences, protecting our children and feeling responsible for anything bad that happens to them. All of this is peppered with the 'Devil' and her opinions. Exceptionally clever.
After making the courageous decision to leave her abusive husband, Perdie and her three young children start over and finally find the safety and love they deserve. But years later, when tragedy strikes, Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave has led them to this moment.
If she were given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she?
How do I even begin to describe it? This book took me on one hell of an emotional journey, one that I don’t think I will ever forget. So much so I sobbed during one part, I was that connected to the characters that I felt their grief and anger. I haven’t cried reading a book for a long long time.
I’ll admit I didn’t know what to expect from the story, but I think going in unknown helped even more. Perdie is in an abusive relationship and leaves. The first half of the book covers her escape and how she rebuilt her life. But as everyone knows, we all have doubts, especially when it comes to our children. Did we do what was right for them or was it a selfish decision? This is where ‘Ella’ comes in. The book is split between the story of Perdie and her family, and ‘Ella’ who is there to feed those doubts, or ‘the devil’ as she has been called.
Ella’s parts of the book I really enjoyed although did go quite deep at times, but everything she discussed we can all relate too. All the thought’s Perdie had, I’ve had in some capacity… ‘but what if I’d done that differently!’
This book is beautifully written and one that makes you question so much.
I loved this book. |The story is very simple on the face of it; a woman trapped in an abusive marriage decides to escape with her three children. But the narrator Ella is actually playing with the characters, and we are left to consider whether our choices and actions influence our futures, and if they don't, then why don't we do just what we want? This book is very well-written, and I loved the characters, especially Perdie, who is always trying to do the right thing for her children. Idle Hands is a very clever book, which I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
I do not think I have ever read a book that has been this heart-wrenching and emotional. The way in which Windwalker writes is so beautiful and powerful that it is hard to disconnect yourself from the book and the events that are taking place for the characters.
This novel follows Perdie and her three children and their journey through life after leaving her abusive husband. She is constantly plagued with thoughts of regret and doubt that affect the way she has lived her life and the decisions she makes. She, much like many people, are tormented by thoughts that their decisions have negatively impacted those around them. Ella, who some would call the devil, uses Perdie’s life and experiences to express the way in which bad things occur and how they are impossible to stop. This was the most interesting aspect of the novel for me as I loved the way in which the narrator, Ella, involved themself with the lives of this family and truly went into depth with the emotions, feelings, and decisions that were chosen.
The topics that this novel showcased were so powerful and left me both shocked but so invested in the lives of these characters. I was rooting for them all the way and when they were hurt, I was too. There were times that I felt the dialogue in the novel to be a bit bland but this was on and off and only with certain minor characters so it did not affect the reading experience as a whole.
This was such a dark book, both with its topics but the way in which it was written, but this is the way it should have been. These topics of domestic abuse, grief, and loss are so significant and need to be told, and I felt that this novel did those stories justice and whilst it was not the happiest of endings, I was almost left with a sense of hope at the end that I still can’t get out of my mind. This was a beautifully written novel with such eye-opening topics, that still held a sense of uniqueness that I have never witnessed in another novel. I can’t stop thinking about it.
What a novel! We’ve all been down the road of “what ifs” and daydreamed about alternate realities if we had made different choices, but for one woman, the opportunity to go back and make things “right” suddenly becomes very real.
When tragedy strikes Perdie’s little family, it leaves her questioning one crucial decision she made many years ago: what if she hadn’t taken her children and left her violent husband to start a new life?
The story is told by the narrator who introduces HERself as the devil, which lends the book a dark and often chilling element that sometimes made me uncomfortable. Having said that, it was ultimately an interesting way to pepper the story with existential truths that really pack a punch! I loved those nuggets of reflection and how the text became more unpredictable. It’s better not to reveal anymore, though there were definitely twists I didn’t see coming!
I found this book so emotionally raw and revealing of the human psyche. It’s also probably the first time I’ve read something that deals with domestic abuse in such an honest and insightful way without being morbid! Despite not being a very long read, I think Windwalker has successfully created a plot, storytelling method and characters that stay with you a long time after you’ve finished reading.
Wow! Thank you so much NetGalley. This book was brilliant. That ending, my goodness.
The twists had me hooked and this book is a definite must read.
Idle Hands is a wholly interesting read that grips the reader with an original plot and makes them really examine why we do the things we do and make the choices we make.
Idle Hands is undoubtedly going to take the Woman’s Literature genre by storm.
Not only is the cover a subtle mix of color and spook (the nails on that shadowed hand certainly provide a curiosity that belays the cheerful colors!) but there is certainly enough story contained in the pages to make anyone sit up and take notice of Cassondra Windwalker.
Idle Hands is a novel about Perdie, an abused wife who has put up with her husband's emotional and physical violence for too long. When he threatens to bring that same violence to her children, Perdie says no more, and leaves him. But in doing so and the life she leads after, Perdie has to grapple with questions fundamental for any person making life altering decisions: did I do the right thing? what even is the right thing?
The answer, as the novel goes into, is complicated. Oftentimes “right” and “wrong” are arbitrary categories and in reality, all we really have are forkroads and what ifs. However, it’s how we choose to look back on those that can give us both the most pain and the most satisfaction.
A big bright spot in the book is the narration-- not of Perdie, which is who you’d assume-- but of Ella, the literal devil. In a world where many adult fiction books detail domestic violence, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book who’s narrator was an omniscient devil who loves to wax poetic about human morality. Ella’s perspective, as the story moved forward, provided both a deeper insight to Perdie’s character and the human condition, and some needed levity.
This book is heavy; there is no doubt about that! But it brings to mind so many questions and philosophies to the forefront of our mind; questions of choice and morality, of regret, of satisfaction and content. The book itself seems a little long, especially in the middle, but by the final ¾ of the book, you simply can’t turn the pages fast enough.
The writing is raw, the emotions are raw, and I found myself sitting in silence for a hot minute contemplating the ending and the choice Perdie made. Which I think is exactly what Windwalker was aiming for at her conclusion of the story.
4 of 5.
** Thank you to NeGalley for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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4.5 Rounding Up
AHHH BUY THIS BOOK!
I'll admit, when I started Idle Hands, I was not expecting much. I was very pleasantly surprised.
Idle Hands follows Perdie and her three children as they fight to get out from underneath the thumb of an abusive husband/father. Enter Ella (aka the devil). Ella's goal is less to steer and more to nudge you down the path to destruction by presenting options (and making that "what if" possible).
<i>“I’m not the teacher. I’m the test. I have nothing to teach you. No judgment to hand down”</i>
I thoroughly enjoyed this and would definitely purchase a copy for my bookshelf! The only drawback to Idle Hands was that I didn't feel like Hannah had the space to connect fully with the reader.
Idle Hands is unlike any book I’ve ever read before. It’s by far one of the best books I’ve read this year, possibly ever. I do not know how to do it justice trying to explain why.
The story pertains to Perdie, a woman who manages to escapes her abusive marriage with her three children to find the safety and love they deserve in a new life. However 10 years later tragedy strikes and Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave led them to this moment.
If she was given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she?
The most fascinating thing about this novel is that the devil herself, going by the name Ella is the stories narrator. Her role is to present us other alternatives, hoping to tempt us with “what-ifs”. Ella continuously breaks the fourth wall to the reader, seemingly annotating and ad-libbing observations on humanity throughout Perdie’s story.
This explores so many interesting themes, fate, destiny, predetermination, also ethics, selfishness, questioning actions, different motivations, just to brush the surface.
My heart is crushed and my mind in a spin. I will be thinking about this for a very long time. I can not recommend this book more.
Wow. This is one of those very rare books: You get it, you devour it and as soon as you've finished the last page you feel the urge to contact everyone you know to get them to read it and even encourage strangers on the journey to work to read it. That's because you just want the chance to talk to someone about it.
On the surface it's nothing really out of the ordinary. The story centres around Perdie, a woman with a very violent husband, who is forced into making a decision to leave after he nearly turns his violence on one of their three children. This decision is no easy one as it will inevitably send them into poverty and harm the children's emotional well-being and potential life chances. However, what makes this very different is that Perdie's life and decisions are commentated upon by Ella -the adversary - or the devil as we may know her better. Ella watches the lives of the family and offers insights into Perdie's choices but also into the human condition. When tragedy strikes Perdie gets the chance to wish she'd never left her husband in the first place and the situation plays out as if that decision had never been made.
This is NOT about making a pact with the devil. Instead it is much more subtle. Although I found Perdie's story engaging, it was Ella's insights that I was engrossed by. Instead of being repulsed by her, she was charismatic and compelling and had some thoughtful insights on why or how we act. It also raised questions of who is really with us in our darkest moments!!
Overall, this is thought-provoking, heart-breaking and utterly brilliant.
This book is amazing, I read it holding my breath, scared to miss a single word, gripped from start to finish.
Perdie and her husband Matt have three children Hannah, Rachel and Tod. Matt is abusive towards her, but she is now worried that he will turn his aggression to their son Tod. She has to make a decision whether to leave her husband and start life again, but it would be a hard life leaving her children home alone whilst she tries to earn enough to keep them fed and clothed.
Watching from the sidelines Ella, the adversary or in layman’s terms the devil, is always watching, seeing what decisions she makes, tempting her with alternative choices. Whatever option she takes there seems to be a high pay to pay.
The story is told from Perdie’s and Ella’s points of view. There are some heartbreaking moments and impossible decisions to make along the way, but a mother will do anything to protect her children.
Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
I knew from page 1 that this was going to be something special! This is an incredible book, the writing is sublime and I loved it! A really refreshing take and a story written with its own voice.
I am honestly not 100% sure what I expected of this when I started reading it, but I am pretty sure that it was not this.
After escaping her abusive husband , Perdie and her 3 kids finally settle, and while things are not easy, they end up being good for the most part.
But when tragedy strikes, Perdie is convinced that her decision to leave is the reason that things have happened as they have and that if she had only stayed then things would have been better.
As the reader - we know that is not the case. We see the damage done, we see the emotional trauma and how despite some sadness in the other 'version' the kids were happy. Perdie was happy.
I did not expect to relate most closely to 'Ella' in this. The view of people, the spiritual, the physical, and the nature of the world we live in is so very on point its scary and the one thing - more than anything else - that struck me given the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic, was the following:
"Certainly you'd rather die of the plague and take everyone you can with you before going without your requisite morning latte or those sun-dried tomatoes at your favourite market."
A quick read - scarily insightful - and definitely recommended.
Wow!! What a ride this book was. It was very well done with the narrative by the devil. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Wow. I was completely engrossed in this book from the very first page. The suspense is delicately wrapped in beautiful, haunting prose and my heart was breaking before I even knew what was going to happen. A truly unique narrative point of view that added interest and a layer of magic over the whole story. The writing is ethereal, insightful and severe all at once.
The narrative of the 'Adversary' is a brutal disassembly of the human condition and done so brilliantly as to question whether this narrative was actually written by one of us mere mortals—who could be so ruthless toward their own species?
Harrowing and gut-wrenching, humanity's morbid curiosity and fascination with the psyche was splayed across the page for all to see. I desperately wanted to stop reading the horrors, but couldn't tear my eyes away. Exquisite.
I have been truly bowled over by this novel, it is equally beautiful and horrible in all the best possible ways. I hope this story gets the attention it deserves and will make sure I do what I can to help that happen.
The devil makes work for idle hands indeed. When I read a thriller I want it to be just that — thrilling, in a dark, psychological way.
And this book is that. I read this in one sitting and I was enthralled.
Told from the point of view of the devil themselves (aka Ella), they watch as Perdie & her three kids suffer - either with the outcome of their sudden upheaval, or at the hands of their abusive father. We hear from the devil at intervals which, at first, I wasn’t really on board with, but as the story developed, I appreciated it; that omniscient little voice that’s clearly bored until there’s trouble afoot.
It’s about how whatever decision you make, the grass is always gonna be greener on the other side. Always. Perdie leaves, lives happily for 10 years, then ends up with her youngest dead, and her middle child fighting for her life. Naturally the devil is on hand to give her the other option, and we go back to the same point in time, except Perdie never left. The outcome of that leaves us with the husband getting what he deserves, but to the detriment of everyone involved.
I wonder if Perdie would have given up her ten years of happiness with Reilly & co. If it meant Tad would perish at the end of it. Somehow I think not - Ella speaks of the ferocity of a mother’s love, and that would have her choosing the welfare of her kids over and over, as misguided as that would sometimes be.
To paraphrase, the course of life never did run smooth. And even if you lived it over and over, the choices made will trip you up somewhere. Perhaps Ella had a point; we only consider the choices we’ve made - our own God complexes just blossom in the midst of tragedy.
I feel like I held my breath the whole way through this book. It was intense and like nothing I’ve ever read before. The story is told from the perspective of ‘Ella’ who is literally THE DEVIL.
Perdie is an abused wife who makes the decision to leave her vile husband in pursuit of a new life with three children, however when tragedy strikes, she wonders if her choice was the right one and unknowingly makes a deal with the devil in an attempt to make things right again.
Ella’s narrative forces you to question everything you believe about the choices you make and their consequences. I did find some parts of Ella’s monologues a little long and drawn out. At first I felt like this took away from the intensity of the story, but in a strange way it sort of added to it. Ella takes her time as though the soul crushing, horrendous goings on are of little consequence. This in itself over time added to how chilling this novel was for me.
It was an intense and unapologetically brutal read but so incredibly unique, it’s beautiful and awful in a way that kept me reading until I’d finished it in just one day.
After making the courageous decision to leave her abusive husband, Perdie and her three young children start over and finally find the safety and love they deserve. But years later, when tragedy strikes, Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave has led them to this moment. If she were given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she?
In a frantic bid to protect her family, Perdie makes a deal to do just that. But in a world where the devil pulls the strings, can Perdie really change the past?
This book had me captivated from the beginning and is truly one of the most original books I have ever read. It is so well written, and I found the chapters from Ella’s perspective to have a beautiful, almost lyrical quality.
It is a light, easy, but thought provoking read. It explores love, relationships and grief in a very unique way. Ella makes observations throughout the book that really made me think and question, which is a quality I really love in a book.
Overall, a very clever and enjoyable read that is truly one of a kind. If you want to read something beautifully original, this is the one for you. Thank you @agorabooks. You have done it again with another great publication! Publication date: 23/07/2020
What a wonderful original story that had me laughing out loud at times. I loved Ella. - the Angel we know as the Devil - who spent the time observing Perdue and the children. The interruptions to the story by Ella were so well paced and certainly thought provoking, this was an unusual but wonderful way of looking at two aspects of life changing events. I found that throughout I was questioning my thoughts and how I might have reacted to the situations that Perdie. faced.
The essence of the story was Perdie, as an abused wife trying at all times to do the best for her children with the Devil watching always to make snide remarks for us the reader to think about. To some people Perdie could have appeared to have a weak character but hers was a difficult situation and I thought that she showed great strength throughout and her actions were at all times well meant.
A superb book, well written with extremely well defined characters and situations that meant that as a reader I was with Perdie all the way through. Highly recommend this to others.
How do I begin to review a book this full of content? I LOVED this novel so much. Initially I found it difficult to adjust to the much more complex and literary style of Ella’s sections as Perdie’s chapters were so easily readable. Mind you, reading before bed does mean concentration is compromised!
Once I had read on though I found it was nice to shift pace, slow down and really focus on what Ella was telling us about herself and about ‘Them’ who we refer to as God. There was literally so much to unpack each time. The idea of a female gendered devil and a gender less God. The idea that the devil isn’t trying to ruin our lives but in fact is simply offering us opportunities to indulge, to live in the moment and to follow our desires. And then you have to apply what she says to Perdie’s story while probably, if you are anything like me, applying it to your own life, decisions and choices.
Perdie and her children are well drawn and likeable characters and the narrative flowed really well despite being interrupted by Ella when she felt she needed to demonstrate something to us or make comment on Perdie’s thought processes.
I hate reviews that give spoilers so it’s hard to say everything I want to but Ella’s final point is incredible. It would have been so easy for Windwalker to give us the sugar sweet Hollywood ending. Instead, she gave us something though provoking and real.
I will be recommending this book to everyone!
A thought-provoking and original book that focuses on Perdie and her escape from her abusive husband before he turns his abuse on their three children. Her actions and the decisions she makes catches the attention of Ella, or 'the devil'. Many of Perdie's choices seem to put her between a rock and a hard place, and Ella marvels at how she instead creates a third path. However, with each decision there is a consequence or price to pay. Finally, there comes a point when Perdie has run out of choices and Ella offers Perdie the ultimate 'what if' choice.
Throughout the book, there is love, heartbreak, sacrifice and the true cost of succumbing to temptation. It is, at times, a difficult read, with domestic abuse being a central theme. It is a book that raises many questions and will stay with me for quite some time.
My thanks go to the publishers and Net Galley for the advance copy in return for an honest review.
A sliding doors type scenario but through the viewpoint of the devil? Yes, please! This was fun book just when I needed one. The book was very quick but I didn't feel like it was rushed, just well-paced and plotted. It was really just a joy to read. It asked so many philosophical questions about choice and decision making but not in a heavy-handed or condescending way.
After finishing 'Idle Hands', I am emotionally wrung out which highlights the power of this novel. Windwalker has crafted something truly special here.
The bulk of the text follows Perdie's life as she makes the decision to take her children out of their abusive home. We see the impact of Perdie's choices, with this action as the catalyst, coming to a better understanding of the strengths and flaws in human nature as we do. I do not want to share anymore of the narrative for fear the emotional impact will be lessened. Ultimately, the reader is forced to bear witness to the unexpected twists and turns of Perdie's life, Windwalker not shying away from portraying some pretty horrific and brutal events.
Plot aside, the narrative structure is what made this book a five star read, pushing the reader to be more introspective as a result of what they witness. Narrated by Ella (more commonly known to you and I as 'the devil'), the novel is sequenced with frequent sardonic interjections and appearances from this being herself. The extra layer of cynical commentary was incredibly clever and often unexpected in its delivery (sometimes perhaps waxing philosophy for slightly too long but this is just a minor gripe). What could have been a rather depressing tale of a broken family is turned into something rather more twisted and sinister.
This book is not for the faint-hearted with its unflinching portrayal of trauma and abuse. The structure of the text makes it a gripping read and raises some important questions on the nature of humanity, love and loss. A five star read, highly recommended.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher who provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to the author and publisher for the eARC of this book in return for my honest opinion.
I’m going to start by saying there are trigger warnings for this book, especially with regards to domestic abuse. The story follows Perdie, a devoted mother and battered wife. Her husband Matt is a controlling narcissist who blames her for his violent outbursts. But at least he doesn’t go for their kids... until he does.
In the background is the devil who is watching the choices Perdie makes, including the brave one to take her children and flee from their abusive father. The devil continues to watch over Perdie and her family as they grow into their new life, safe from harm.
Then tragedy strikes.
Overwhelmed with shock and grief, Perdie blames herself, believing that her decision to leave all those years ago led to this moment. And that’s when the devil in disguise steps in with a question: If Perdie could take it all back and stay, would she do it?
At first I found the devil’s commentary a little off-putting, especially when it happened mid-scene but I quickly got used to this and it definitely added to the feeling of impending doom and apprehension. I found myself tensing whenever Perdie spoke to her husband in case something sparked off his vile temper. The scenes of domestic violence are raw and harrowing, but in no way gratuitous. I also felt the reasons people stay in an abusive relationship was sensitively handled.
The scenes surrounding the tragedy were heart-wrenching and I don’t mind admitting that I cried, despite the warnings within the devil’s narration that something bad was going to happen. It made me think of a sadistic version of the Chorus found in Greek tragedies. I also found some life-affirming observations within the devil’s views of human nature too, something I did not see coming!
I think this book, and the philosophical questions it raised, will stay with me for a long time. Available from 20th August, I wholeheartedly recommend it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I loved this book! I found the format and writing style kept me hooked. Loved the concept of the 'sliding doors' effect and all the possible outcomes of the character's decisions. I read this in one sitting as I couldn't put it down! Great read.
Y'all!!! Ok, this is a story, right from the devil and it's pretty freaking ingenious. It's told from his perspective, about a family. A battered wife with her kids decide to leave and start a new future on their own. Then after a tragedy, the wife begs spirits of the beyond to change her path in life.
And I will leave you with that, because any more is a spoiler.
This book is unique, engrossing, and far out awesome. I think the idea of an entity or spirit narrator, is very imaginative. Windwalker makes it work, and it's damn amazing.
Normally it takes me a few days to absorb a book, but this one I read in just a couple of days, because, damn, I really NEEDED to know what was going to happen. Telling in from the story of the antagonist is genius. Especially when the "person" in question is an old-as-time demon.
It's really quite beautiful.
Idle Hands releases 7.23.2020.
I’m not going to lie it was the cover that first caught my eye with this book, there is something that makes it both a little menacing and inviting, I hadn’t realised that this type of polarity would extend to the story as well.
I’m not even sure where to begin I feel at the same time utterly devastated and enlightened, the feelings that I am feeling at the hands of this book are raw but in a way that makes me hopeful. Honestly this is the kind of story that will not be easily forgotten, I will be carrying Perdie and her family around with me for days, probably even weeks.
We are introduced to Ella, the adversary or more commonly thought of as the devil, first and her narration is interspersed throughout the story, explaining her role within human lives and her thoughts on our choices. I loved this element of the book, all the philosophical ponderings and questions it brought up.
I liked that this is a stark reflection of the flaws of human beings and the reliance to assign blame to some ‘other’ rather than be accountable for our own actions. I think her narration also added that sense of foreboding, which actually made me a lot more invested, I felt emotionally charged before getting to certain events which only heightened my experience of them.
This story is something to be experienced, I don’t want to say too much because it would ruin the impact that it will have on you reading it, but it is the type of book where the repercussions of everything that happens will keep coming back to haunt you. The writing is phenomenal too, the imagery is a joy to read and the author is able to weave together the atmosphere of every scene with each word.
Idle Hands is a unique read, it is at the same time captivating and devastating and will play with your emotions, well worth reading.
“Idle Hands” is guy-wrenchingly emotional novel, laced with plenty of black humour and a poignant tenderness. It’s well written and an interesting read.
When Perdie decides to leave her abusive husband and take their their three children with her, it’s a fresh start that she is certain will provide a better future for them all. After building their new lives, tragedy befalls Perdie and in steps Ella with a tantalising offer. You see, Ella is the devil and she offers Perdie the opportunity to take back her decision to leave. Will this alternative reality prove to be better? Or do we need to live by our decisions with conviction?
“Idle Hands” is not normally the genre of novel that I read, but I was instantly drawn to the premise of the narrative being written from the Devil’s perspective. I wasn’t disappointed with this and I found Cassondra Windwalker’s novel to be both compelling and heartfelt. Ella’s (the Devil’s) monologues are wonderfully crafted and the questions and observations voiced really resonated with me. The critique and commentary on the human condition - our inherent vices, flaws and complexities - is poetic at times and really lends weight to the drama of the characters’ lives. The story of Perdie and her family would have been gripping enough without the additional aspect of Ella’s perspective, but this makes “Idle Hands” feel much more unique, affecting and memorable.
I really enjoyed the style that Windwalker has adopted. It helps to deliver genuine tension at times - particularly when Ella hints at what is to come. It also allows for elements of dark comedy/satire and the commentary on religious belief often portrays this. However, religion is not made fun of here and the observations made on God and creation are very astute and thought-provoking. I found the concept that humanity and our world are simply a game for both Ella and God/Jesus to play with to be an entertaining prospect and it made the derision of some of our deep-set beliefs as a civilisation (e.g. things happen for a reason) to be very humorous.
I also really enjoyed the human story at the heart of the novel. Perdie is a complex character who I sympathised with and respected through both decisions. The outcomes of both sides to the story were brilliantly crafted. Both choices were laden with suspense, heartbreak and wishes for a different outcome. What I found most affecting about Perdie’s story was that no matter what choice was made, each life held its own tragedy and regret. This made me think about how none of us can avoid this and how we all must make and face tough decisions that may not conclude how we perceive it wish. What “Idle Hands” suggested to me though, was that we should always stand by them. Given the opportunity to take back and change our choices does not guarantee us a better, happier, more successful outcome - we must face the consequences, come what may. “Idle Hands” was a really thought-provoking and enjoyable novel that I am truly glad I have read and I highly recommend it!
What an unusual but brilliantly written read Idle Hands produced. Told from the devil's perspective the story evolves around a family with an abusive Husband/Father and how their choices affect them.
At times I found some of the scenes to be hard to read but this didn't deter me from reading. The way Cassondra Windwalker writes is mesmerising, even in all of Idle Hands' horrifying telling. So much so, I read Idle Hands in one sitting.
This book gave me goosebumps.
Perdie exists within a violent marriage, staying because her husband only hurts her, he doesn’t harm the children. However, one day this line is crossed and Perdie makes the decision to leave and save her children.
Years later, having doubted the choice she made due to the impact it has had on the children, Perdie’s life is ripped apart and she wishes she could go back and change it all. The Devil is listening and makes this happen and Perdie lives her life again, but with different circumstances.
I cannot praise this book enough. The concept of the novel is genius - that The Devil is known as Ella and watches over what we do in anticipation of how we handle the tensions and stresses of life, and what choices we make when we hit one of life’s crossroads.
To read Perdie’s life through two different choices is heartbreaking, twice over. Whilst she blames herself for everything that has happened, fate seems to play a hand in everything that happens and no matter what choices are made, there is a price to pay.
This is a thought-provoking story about whether life would always turn out better if we made different choices, or are some people dealt a bad hand that no decision could ever change.
Idle Hands, Cassondra Windwalker. 4/5
In a world where the devil pulls the strings, can you change the past?
This is a remarkable little read. Clever, brilliantly composed, gut wrenching and bittersweet. Idle Hands allows you to view the Devil as more than an adversary to God, but as a shadow in the background, largely uninvolved and mostly watchful for odd decision that the tilt the scales.
The story follows Perdie, a mother of three fleeing an abusive relationship to start again, as the years roll on tragedy strikes and Perdie questions whether given the opportunity to go back and stay, she would have.
I loved this, it is one of my favourite reads this year. Clever observations on life, intricate and stunning monologues, heartbreaking story and a reminder that sometimes, it doesn’t always matter which thread you pull, you will always be left with a hole.
Stunning cover aswell! A new author for my one to watch list.
Thanks to #NetGalley and #AgoraBooks for my copy of this book.
Idle Hands is a novel about choices. And about second chances. It is about pleasure & pain and our ferocious will to survive.
The author has brought her characters to life with singular humanity. It is a charged and important novel delving deep into the dark horrors of domestic violence & abuse.
It is a stunning, brutal and hugely imaginative book.
I would like to say a tremendous thank you to Cassondra Windwalker, Agora Books and NetGalley for this ARC copy of Idle Hands which has been released today on ebook!
Ella’s narrations present her evaluation on humankind, grief and dilemmas. This is a tale of impossible decisions, terrible luck and a mother who will do anything to guard her kids. Readers may find this work dark and disturbing, but something keeps you reading. Windwalker has a way with words, her writing style reminds me of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. Both inspired by superior beings and poetic composition. She selects a sensitive approach to the devastating subjects featured in this text.
‘Idle Hands’ is a powerful novel that makes an impact like being punched in the stomach. If you love experimental works that challenge that way you think, I refer you to this unforgettable book.
I unfortunately cannot release my full review on here until the blog tour commences, but I will link it shortly!
This is easily one of my new favorite books.
Windwalker does a fabulous job of cutting between Ella (the devil)'s narration and the story of Perdie, a mother trying to escape an abusive husband she worries will soon harm her children. The story of Perdie and her family moves quickly, sparing no seconds to show the characters's development in their traumatic situation. Ella's meditations give you much to think about life, and nearly mock the reader's humanity and expectations of control.
This is a fantastic novel. I only knocked off a half a star because of a few places where I felt I wanted more information on supporting characters. Beyond that, this is a wonderful read. Pick it up!
This was a delicious surprise.
Even though the blurb tells you it's going to be something innovative, I still didn't expect it to be so different, so peculiar. The writing is really good and the plot, although nothing completely new, has the supernatural spin that makes this one book I imagine will be a lot talked after the release.
I wished it were longer, that we could see more alternatives, but perhaps this was better, to let us withing for more instead of tired of it.
I am definitely going to read more from this author.
I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
This was a dark yet fascinating page turner which had a strong plot and made you think deeply all the way through with its meditations on love, loss and the human condition from the perspective of a very original narrator: the devil (although they don't like to be referred to in that way).
The narration is interwoven with the stories of the characters and actually gave me pause for thought throughout.
With the relatable main character and main subject of the devil's attention, there were so many things to consider but not in an overly taxing way.
The ending was also apt and unexpected yet still unsurprising which sounds confusing but if you read it I think you would understand what I mean.
The only thing I would liked to have seen was a fleshing out of the devil's "fascination" with the main character's son and his "light". I felt like I wanted to see more in terms of that and maybe some direct interaction between the two since the book leads with this fascination.
Overall a worthwhile and highly commendable read.
Cassandra Windwalker has created a book that makes you consider all aspects of your life and the reasons for your decisions and in fact the reason for living at all. A true puzzle of a book which is both intriguing and enjoyable glad I didn’t miss this one
This the most unusual book I have read in years. Narrated by the Devil (also known as Ella) it tells the story of Perdie, an abused wife and her family and how the choices she makes affects her future. Even when she is 'allowed' to potentially change her history, things still don't end happily ever after. I loved this book. It kept me involved right until the end and I will be looking out for other by the same author.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
I had very little idea of what to expect from this novel, but I was blown away. Windwalker's narrative voice is so self-assured and engaging. Presenting the Devil as a narrator is an intriguing concept, and Windwalker manages to introduce several interesting phiolosophical concepts into the novel without it becoming abstract or preachy. Perdie's story is so relatable - what mother wouldn't want to do everything she could to protect her children? It's also a story of the dangers of domestic violence and the cycles of both mental and physical abuse this can lead to. I can't wait for her next book!
This story is told by Ella, (who by the way, is the devil) and follows one family throughout the trails and tribulations of their lives, specifically one decision made by the mother, Perdie.
The format and POV was unusual and thoroughly refreshing. It was enjoyable and interesting and I thought Ella was written incredibly well.
There was some difficult subject matter, with the book addressing domestic violence, grief and family dynamics. It was handled well but wasn’t an easy read at times.
I loved the way this played out with the dual timeline though. Perdie was such a wonderful main character and I felt her pain as she struggled with trying to be a good parent and make the right choices.
Moving and heartbreaking. This one will stay with me a while.
Actual rating 4.5 stars
Many thanks to the publisher for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Im not sure I enjoyed this book, but that isn't a reflection on the book itself but rather the subject matter and the fact that it did make uncomfortable. I couldn't put it down and read it over two sittings as I was just hooked.
This is a fantastically written, harrowing book that will stay with you and have you thinking for a long time.
If you could save your child's life would you make a deal with the devil? This Sliding Doors plot is a mesmerising account of one woman who makes the brave move to leave her abusive husband and take their three children to live a different, initially difficult but ultimately satisfying life. But then the unthinkable happens and the devil, in the guise of "Ella" offers Perdie a deal. When Perdie goes 'back' and this time stays with her abusive husband what she hasn't counted on is free will. This is a brilliant and really thought provoking read. I particularly enjoyed the use of the sarcastic, all-knowing Ella judiciously appearing throughout the narrative. Highly recommend.
What an AMAZING book!
Perdie is married to Matt and has three children. Unfortunately, Matt is a wife beater. Perdie gets frequently beaten but bears it for her children. Indeed, she is in a major dilemma. Should she stay with Matt and have the financial security that came along in exchange for being beaten or should she leave and be independent but risk spending lesser time with her children as she would have to work to make a living?
Both situations seem so bleak.
When the devil (female, name Ella) offers her a way out, Perdie is already at the end of her tether (Matt has tried to hit her son whom she was desperately trying to protect from the violence). So she grabs the offer from the devil with both hands. But, as it turns out, grass is greener on the other side.
Basically, Idle Hands talks about how our choices can affect our lives irrevocably. I loved how the author has talked about Perdie and her dilemmas at various stages of life interspersed with monologues from the Devil/Ella.
The theme of domestic violence is a major presence through the book, but Windwalker has dealt with it gently. It might yet be triggering from those suffering from abuse so this is a word of warning.
Very good book. Must read!
Fantastic ´. Read all in one go. Sliding doors meets the book thief. Looking forward to reading more from this author
Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker is a bone-chilling work of fiction. The Devil as the narrator reminded me of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak in which Death narrated the story.
The story revolves around a mother of two who is in an abusive relationship. She takes the plunge to leave her husband for the sake of her children, but bad stuff happens to them anyway. The Devil gives her a chance to roll back the clock and be back with her husband as if she never left. But we all know how an abusive relationship is likely to end - especially not in a cliched happy ending.
The book makes one rethink the decisions we take in our lifetime.
Thanks to the author and the publisher for the ARC.
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