Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from within an unpublished book of dubious merit entitled 'Caversham Heights'. Landen, her husband, is still eradicated, Aornis Hades is meddling with Thursday's memory, and Miss Havisham - when not sewing up plot-holes in 'Mill on the Floss' - is trying to break the land-speed record on the A409. But something is rotten in the state of Jurisfiction. Perkins is 'accidentally' eaten by the minotaur, and Snell succumbs to the Mispeling Vyrus. As a shadow looms over popular fiction, Thursday must keep her wits about her and discover not only what is going on, but also who she can trust to tell about it...
Welcome back to the world of Thursday Next, but be aware that the book review you are about to read is for the third novel in the series and plot spoilers for previous books are sure to follow... You have been warned.
As you are now hopefully aware, Thursday Next lives in an alternate Swindon in 1985 where she has been driven by her enemies to spend her maternity in Book World, where she is a Jurisfication agent, hoping that people from the real world will not be able to find her. Hiding out in a book in the Well of Lost Plots she hopes life will become simpler… but then you wouldn’t be reading a Jasper Fforde novel, instead you would be reading a book from the Well of Lost Plots itself which is where books that haven’t been published dwell - some of these may as yet not be written but some may be un-publishable, destined to suffer the fate of being forever forgotten.
Thursday is now living within Caversham Heights, a crime novel set in Reading where life is anything but quiet. She has to play the part of Mary, the sidekick to the alcohol loner detective, as well as playing house to a couple of Generics (fictional people who have not yet developed personalities or destinies of their own), trying to become a full Jurisfication officer as well as keeping her memories of her real life from being destroyed. If Thursday thought she was about to have a break… Well you wouldn’t be reading the book if everything was going to be easy.
As always the story itself takes you on a journey of wonder, with many questions such as: Are there no original stories left to write? If that is so then is the book you are hopefully going to read original or a pastiche of what has come before? I will leave these questions up to you, but as I cannot wait to read book 4 in the series. I hope that these questions leave you with many questions of your own! Again Jasper Fforde has given us more intriguing characters, a lot of happiness and some sadness of his own making. You cannot help falling for these characters, however unlikely that maybe, and wondering where and what craziness is yet to follow.
Review by Michelle Herbert
Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on Sterling banknotes, and is cousin of the author, Katie Ffor [...]
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