Thursday's children commenced with an unexpected meeting from a school acquaintance whose problematic adolescent revived memories of Frieda’s disillusioning past. Although it started gradually, the authors made it interesting by encompassing counselling insights demonstrating Dr. Frieda Klein’s psychotherapeutic attributes. By involving many characters (teenage classmates, their mothers, a tutor and a police officer), the narrative concocted complexity, but Frieda’s guts in confronting them, a mother who loathed her and friends who loved her for what she was is remarkable. Her wit, resilience and determination can be rekindling for individuals with a low self-esteem.
The Frieda Klein novels mesmerize me, and after reading the comments on this page, I'm not sure why they do. But I am the opposite of repelled by Frieda and her walks, her house, her circle of associates. I like to keep the London subway map beside me as I read to see where she is going and how far a trip it appears to be. Maybe it's because I enjoy visiting London that I am hooked on these novels. I was less enchanted by one of the authors' non-Frieda novels and in fact did not finish reading it. I'll soon read the new Saturday Frieda novel and hope to enjoy it as much!
This series is wonderful. I will hate to see it end with book eight. Freida Klein is hard to warm up to, a brilliant, yet prickly psychotherapist. She speaks without care to social social niceties, yet she has garnered a very loyal cadre of friends who love her and force their way into her life to give her some balance.
Well, what we can do - Frieda Klein is unique, I'm writing this with an irony - everyone in her hometown, Braxton, or have been in love with her or still are in love. I do not see why.
I like her less and less with every new book from series about F. K. - she’s cold, does not have sympathy or compassion to other persons, and has no reason to repel people who care about her.
It is noticeable that the writing was done by two people - from one page to another, so to speak, feels the difference in writing style.
In general, as a crime novel - not bad.
Thursday's Children by Nicci French
Frieda Klein #4
Audio narrated by Beth Chalmers
This is my first foray into this series, and it was clearly a mistake not to start at the beginning. It appears that Frieda Klein is a psychotherapist who has a history helping the police solve crimes, although she doesn't seem to have much respect from them. She has become well-known in the media and controversial, although it is not explained why that is. She does do pretty idiotic stuff, though, like hiding evidence and/or blurting things out to the police like "so-and-so is guilty of this heinous crime" without backing it up with any proof. Knucklehead.
She has been estranged from her mother for over 20 years and is not close with her other siblings either. When they are together, it is clear they share a toxic relationship and are better off going their own way. Her mother has recently learned that she has a brain tumor which is a terminal condition. She is already displaying symptoms like facial tics, memory loss, and belligerent behavior. She is declining quickly. Frieda tries to help her mother, but it is obvious she really is not emotionally invested in a deathbed reconciliation.
Frieda goes back to her hometown after 23 years to help an old friend who has a troubled daughter. She is greeted by everyone in a sarcastic/snarky manner. Everyone makes it clear that she is not welcomed back. Most people intensely dislike her. Again, I cannot tell what has set all of them off. She left the little town abruptly, but that doesn't explain why their negative feelings would linger for over two decades.
A boyfriend who has been away in America but has abruptly returned to England after some danger Frieda was previously in (not explained) enters the picture and they quickly resume their relationship until Frieda suddenly is turned off by him and quickly dumps him without explanation. She's very abrasive and abrupt. I can't figure her out.
The mystery revolves around a connection between the young girl she is helping and a crime committed against Frieda in her past, one of the reasons she never returned to her hometown. I was drawn into the story--like watching a soap opera--but only out of curiosity about what was going on with her boyfriend, Sandy, and some of her other friends which I can't tell if she has a romantic interest in them or just uses them for their cop connections and handyman skills. I was hoping for more backstory to clear things up. The mystery itself was "meh" and the book was kind of a yawner.
By now we readers of the Frieda Klein novels know Frieda's ways and her friendship group. I don't believe she would be a candle to all these moths, or that anyone would act the way she does - she still walks in the depth of night, she still stares out windows an awful lot, and is always dashing out for walks along forgotten rivers. There is a big revelation about Frieda's past, and also a big step in her current relationship, and of course there is a continuing thread that seems to be saving itself for another book. She continues to cause others to die violently but does not take responsibility. I still think the characterization is implausible (Josef continues as the comic ethnic foil; Sandy changes hats dramatically; everyone seems available for chats or journeys) and the crime writing rather uninspired.
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