Book review

A Strange Companion by Lisa Manterfield book review

A Strange CompanionA Strange Companion by Lisa Manterfield

My rating: 1 of 5 stars ★
Genre: Contemporary, New Age (Is that a thing?)
Source: Purchased, Once Upon a Book Club box

Kat has been trying to escape her past for two years, ever since her boyfriend Gabe died in a tragic accident. She has met someone new, but she can’t let go of the past. When her brother adopts a two-year-old girl named Mai, Kat goes back to her hometown to meet her. When she meets Mai, she feels a strange, deep connection to her. As if she’s met Mai before. She starts to wonder if it’s possible that her boyfriend has, in fact, come back to her.

Let me say this first: I have lost someone very close to me. It will never be something I am “at peace” with or something I get over. I have gone through major life events without the person I needed the most. I am familiar with and understand Grief because even years later, we hang out fairly often.

I am also aware that people grieve differently.

But with that said, Kat’s grieving goes far overboard.

When she becomes convinced that little two-year-old Mai is the newly reincarnated Gabe, her whole life begins to revolve around getting “answers” through Mai. (If he forgives her, if he blames her for the accident, etc.)

To find these answers, she begins spending as much time alone with Mai as she can and starts taking her places without her brother’s permission. Kat tells her brother she’s taking his daughter to the park, and she takes Mai somewhere completely different without his knowledge. She does this multiple times. Then, she goes so far as to endanger Mai’s life. All in the name of finding “answers” from Gabe.

And after she does something selfish or wrong, she’ll say, “I know I shouldn’t have done that, that was a bad idea,” and then the story moves on like, “Oh! Okay, well, it’s fine!” But her selfish choices are constant. And it seems she never learns from her own stupidity.

There were other things that Kat did that REALLY annoyed me, but mostly, I just couldn’t stand her. She is so self-centered and selfish. In literally everything she does. I didn’t feel sorry for her at all.

I didn’t care about Kat’s story because she was so breathtakingly annoying.

Throughout the book, a couple people ask her if she’s okay and suggest she see a grief counselor. And she gets SO mad every time… Which was annoying. Like, you obviously need help, girlfriend. You’re not acting normal right now.

Also, Kat comes to random conclusions out of thin air. If you think you won’t read this book, please read these examples so you can see what I’m talking about:

1. After Kat has a conversation with an elderly man (we don’t see the scene, Kat just tells us she spoke to him), Kat suddenly decides that Gabe was the only love she’ll ever have, she’s destined to be alone, and she feels at peace about it. So she immediately calls her boyfriend to break up with him. ??? Like, all of a sudden…

2. After little Mai tells Kat to “Let go,” Kat concludes that Gabe is trying to tell her to let go of her life. …To kill herself…

She climbs up a rock wall and purposely lets go. In the hopes that she’ll die. Because climbing up a rock wall and letting go is a really smart idea, right?

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5 thoughts on “A Strange Companion by Lisa Manterfield book review

  1. It’s a shame you didn’t like this :/ by the sounds of it, I probably wouldn’t like it either – the plot seems pretty creepy. Hope your next read is better! 🙂
    Simi ~


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