The Truants is one of those books that is really quite difficult to explain – both in terms of plot and how good it really is. Character-driven and drenched in darker undertones, I was consumed by a world that felt like hanging delicately on the edge of a cliff, never knowing what felt stable. There is no “one mystery” to solve; you are simply waiting around as many lives and stories interweave to create something much like a disastrous maze, in which no one can really get out of.
It’s not the usual kind of book I would pick up. I had no idea what it would be like going into it. But wow, I must say, I was really blown away by the writing. I loved Weinberg’s style, and I don’t often say that about a lot of authors. She had a very unique, simple yet meaningful style and I loved the parts that were written like inner reflections of the mind poured onto a page (those who have read it, you know what I mean – the ending).
Surprisingly, I realised during the book that it was also inspired by UEA, since the author studied her masters in creative writing there. This initiated an unexpected wave of nostalgia for me, since I graduated there, also having studied creative writing (but as an undergrad) earlier this year. Whether this had an effect on my connection to the book, I don’t know. But it did feel comfortingly familiar to me in some ways.
Overall, I feel quite taken aback by this book. It’s a truly original piece of work and a surprisingly good debut. There are flaws, of course – one of them obviously being the likelihood of a lecturer befriending her students – but at its core it’s a very intriguing read. I will certainly look out for more of Weinberg’s books in the future.
What book have you been reading recently?
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