Touched is the first by Joanna Briscoe that I have read, it took me a while to get into her way of writing as it didn't feel comfortable for me. I loved the premise of Touched but it just didn't turn out like I was hoping.
I was hoping for a haunting, creepy story full of atmoshpere but instead it felt flat, I had to make a point of finishing it rather than it grabbing my attention. The dialogue at times seemed like it was starting mid conversation, I found myself a few times reading back on previous bits to see if I had missed some dialogue to try and make sense of it.
There was a lot of focus on the house, the damp, the mould, the stains etc but very little explanation as to why. Later on when a few things were revealed, it still didn't say exactly why. I know now who was probably causing it but why? What was the significance, why did they cause these things to happen? Why the damp, stains and mould, did it mean anything in particular? What was the reason for all the hair in the walls? The smell of cat urine, before the cat ever turned up? All these questions go unanswered.
I couldn't connect with any of the characters either, I just didn't like them. Rowena especially, she has 5 kids, the house is basically inhabitable, strange noises, damp, puddles, mold, all ontop of the other things going on. Yet she stays there, despite the fact it's obviously not healthy or safe for her children? All the while she worries about such trivial things like getting back her figure after the baby and lusting after her neighbour Her children wander all over the place visiting her contractor of all people, a man who she's only really just met and knows nothing about. I'm not even going to start on how she compares her children, what mother does that? A mother loves all her children equally and sees beauty in them all, she doesn't compare them to each other in this way.
I wanted to like this book, the cover is stunning but the tale itself just wasn't for me.