The Ninth Life of Louis Drax
by Liz Jensen
This is a strange and intriguing book which explores the paranormal and toxic relationships. Set in France, the story revolves around an extraordinary child who appears to be extremely accident prone. At first, the reader believes that his mother is in a high state of anxiety due to the constant struggle of trying to keep her child safe. Little Louis is impulsive and angry, a misfit in society, unlikeable and unsettling.
‘I’m not most kids, I’m Louis Drax. Stuff happens to me that shouldn’t happen, like going on a picnic where you drown.’
The opening of the book is compelling and shocking. The reader is hooked from the very first sentences.
This is a mystery, a dark crime novel and a supernatural story.
The characters are well delineated. The setting in France is believable, though I was uncertain of the era. At times it felt like it was set in the1950’s but the medical science suggested later.
I did not like the characters much, but they intrigued me and the story was gripping.
I would advise readers to approach this book with caution if you have an accident-prone child.
A film has been made of this novel in 2016 which I cannot comment on as I have not seen it.