FridayFiveChallenge ~ Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey ~ BuyorPass

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a few minutes, pour yourself a coffee…..and have a browse.


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I’m searching for Wales today since we’re looking to move there. After lots of histories of the area, coffee table books and things that didn’t actually seem to have anything to do with Wales I was about to give up and put another search in when I saw this cover.


I can’t see a Wales connection here either, but the cover and the title caught my eye.  The book description reads….

Shortlisted for the 2015 James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Longlisted for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2015 Jerwood Prize

In the middle of a winter’s night, a woman wraps herself in a blanket, picks up a pen and starts writing to an estranged friend.  In answer to a question you asked a long time ago, she writes, and so begins a letter that calls up a shared past both women have preferred to forget. 
Without knowing if her friend, Butterfly, is even alive or dead, she writes night after night – a letter of friendship that turns into something more revealing and recriminating. By turns a belated outlet of rage, an act of self-defence, and an offering of forgiveness, the letter revisits a betrayal that happened a decade and a half before, and dissects what is left of a friendship caught between the forces of hatred and love.

A novel about female friendship, betrayal and imagination from the prize-winning author of The Wilderness and All is Song.

The cover has a haunting quality which attracted me initially, but I’m not sure what the image conveys in relation to the story. The significance of the title becomes obvious knowing the narrative is in the form of a letter, sometimes rambling and wordy says one reviewer. A reference is also made to the number of poetry quotes. The gist of the story being the narrator writes a letter, over the course of several months, to her friend who she hasn’t seen for fifteen years. The friend had an affair with the narrator’s husband while she was a guest in their house.

It was released a year ago but there are only 15 reviews with an overall rating of 4*.  Two reviews on Amazon US, both 5*. I have to wonder at some so-called reviews – one gave it 5* because ‘the book arrived in good time and was well-bound’. There are a couple of in-depth and positive reviews which, I think, show the readers are genuine and give a good indication of the story, without obvious spoilers.

One of the most helpful reviews by jennym states…..’This book is cleverly and beautifully written, and successfully flits between the internal and the external. The complex and non linear structure and rhythmic, poetic language mirror the internal processes of introspection and feeling, and invite further introspection from the reader, such that reading the book is a profoundly personal experience. Despite this, it is not overwhelmed by heavy seriousness; humour, sly observation and the liveliness of the events described inject the book with a warm and unpredictable energy, and make it hard to put down. Like the Leonard Cohen song that inspired it, the book’s tone is both sad and joyful, and deeply moving,’

The kindle price of £6.49/$10.01 for 273 pages is getting up there. I don’t really feel this is one for me so with that thought in mind…

Would I BUY or PASS? I’ll PASS.

No Friday Five Challenge from Rosie today as she’s busy with her Romancing September feature. If you’d like to check it out please click here

Other Friday Five Challenge choices

Liz chose historical fiction set in London

Shelley went for YA urban fantasy

Barb searched for wanderlust

12 thoughts on “FridayFiveChallenge ~ Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey ~ BuyorPass

  1. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    I love the cover as well, Cathy. Expensive though. By the way my books are partly set in Wales but if you’re looking for a great one to read try Thorne Moore. A great friend of mine her writing is right up there with the best of writing with Wales as the setting.Jx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: #FridayFiveChallenge | Lizannelloyd

  3. Definately agree about a haunting book cover, not sure about the letter format is for me personally, a book that you really need to be in the mood to read as it doesn’t sound as if it will be up-lifting. A pass from me today.

    Liked by 2 people

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