[[ download pdf ]] The EngagementAuthor Chloe Hooper – Cekhargaproduk.co

Liese Campbell is a British woman in her 30s who lost her job as an architect due to the financial crisis and made her way out to Australia where she s been working in Melbourne for her uncle s real estate business Most recently she s been showing Alexander Colquhoun properties Alexander is the heir of a pastoral dynasty in country Victoria near the Grampians and lately he s been looking for a city crash pad.The luxury apartments Liese has been showing Alexander don t seem to be to his taste so she keeps findingAnd lately they ve been the scenes of a mutually satisfying relationship that is also helping to pay Liese s credit card debt In other people s homes while the occupants are out, they play out fantasies.Now Alexander has invited Liese out to his country property isolated, a once majestic Victorian inspired mansion going to ruin, surrounded by mountains and bushland The amount of money he has named for her company for the weekend is generous and Liese is only too happy to accept, seeing her bills continuing to decline But once they arrive, she starts to have the smallest feelings of trepidation Feelings that grow.The game has changed Liese thought they both understood the rules but it seems as though Alexander is playing his own game now Without a way to escape, Liese finds herself an unwilling pawn in whatever game it is that he s now playing.The Engagement is Australian author Chloe Hooper s third novel, her second fiction novel It was, as described by Hooper in her Melbourne Writers Festival event, as a modern day gothic tale borrowing from some old tropes a helpless young woman, a creepy house seemingly with a life of its own, a forced engagement It s been described as erotic, a thriller and a literary version of 50 Shades of Grey It s mostly that last one that I have a problem with Because it s not Actually, it s not even particularly close.It seems now that anything that might contain a sex scene that borders on being even finitely kink, is going to get a comparison to 50 Shades of Grey And yes, that s the buzz book of the moment, it s sold over a million copies in Australia and apparently sells at a rate of 2000 copies per week It s sold over 20 million copies in America and is the biggest selling book of all time, outselling Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code, etc But that does not mean that it s something new and different, nor does it mean that every book after it need be compared to it.The Engagement is a dark novel, written to expertly build the tension It is a tale with an unreliable narrator, where you question everything that Liese is telling you, where you question Alexander is doing and saying, where you wonder what exactly you are supposed to believe Who is playing the game Are they both playing the game Is something infinitelysinister going on or is it all just an elaborate hoax designed to tap into two people s secret fantasies, given a chance to play out The questions rocketed through my mind reading it, I was alternatively convinced that Liese was about to get chopped up into tiny pieces and buried at the foot of the Grampians or that she was going to fleece Alexander for everything he did or possibly didn t have I read The Engagement at night, alone, after my kids had gone to bed and my husband was at work The story hooked me from the first page, but the characterisation was evenfascinating Even at the best of times, I knew I came across as disconnected I was there, but not there oftenaroused by the thought of intercourse than by the act itself, presenting my body at the outset so as to say, You can have this but noThen, after the physical act was over, something shattered Almost immediately the man beside me seemed to be covered in tiny blemishes, and he was a little overweight, and painted with sweat, and he was there Right there I would have to try to be sensitive, acting as if I didn t already want to be alone.The Engagement is a deliciously dark and provocative tale that I do think will have a wide fan base there s a lot here to satisfy people who enjoy different types of books If you like the idea of a gothic tale with a house and landscape that take on a life of their own, I can recommend this one If you like the idea of a thriller that keeps you turning the pages because you have to know what is going to happen, how this game is going to end, pick up this book However if you like 50 Shades Of Grey and think that this is just aliterary version of that story then I would not advise you to choose this book I do think the two are very different, in terms of writing and story line and also in terms of character depth and motivation This isn t a romance novel It s gritty and explores the trappings of money, power and sex in a pscyhological waythan a physical way There are no real sex scenes in the book and I didn t find it a sexually erotic book I found itthoughtfully erotic, in terms of a power play, a struggle between two characters.If I had one quibble with this book, it was the quick ending I d have liked a littlelength, a littletime taken because I m that sort of person who loves closure and everything neatly resolved Even though I felt it lacked a bit for me personally, I do acknowledge that it does work for the book. To the undiscerning eye this couple may seem an ordinary pair, but behind that picket fence lurks a very sordid affair Melancholic and disturbing, a psychological tale that will unravel misjudgements and the reader put amidst a delirium and wonder at who is the concocter.The story has you feeling for the woman and sometimes pity for the man in this story, an example of reeling another soul into a trap, a deception, actors on a stage.A real stick with you tale, you will be musing over who is the actor and who is the real deal.The author has you in the story from the beginning and has you intrigued to the end in this well crafted story about a trap of passion and love, even if it be a disturbed vision of it Suddenly I was conscious of being beneath this sky moving in colour coded fronts across the weather radar I was beneath Alexander s clouds, his ozone, his atmosphere With a rush of vertigo, is sensed my imprisonment we d come in from the hedged garden, Alexander pulling me through the chill of the entrance hall toward the drawing room Everything vibrated with the surreal the room s dimensions seemed enlarged, and his hand in mine too fleshy, too alive and then he was taking me in his arms, or rather taking my hand and placing it upon his shoulder, arranging it there while he spread his swollen fingers over the small of my back and held me close His thinness was stark I could feel his muscle and bone as we started dancing to the music in his head The farm s smell was on his clothes, a sharp, animal musk One, two, one, two a swaying, slow, nothing dance As he moved my body around the yellow walled room with all its spinning finery, I felt my throat constricting When he kissed my forehead again, he glanced sideways I realised Alexander had us dancing in front of the room s tall gilt mirror Everything caught within its frame was too splendid all the antiques seemed inlaid with exotic woods and wreathes of brass, their lines curving, swirling, as if the very purpose was to disorientate And he was watching us in the treasure s midst, posing us As he turned me, I saw a glaze of pleasure cross his face here was a child given something he d felt beyond his reach. With all the complaining I did in my status updates reading this book, you d think I d have given it a star and half and been done with it.No This book gets four painstakingly earned stars from me Never had a book worked so hard for my four stars.Put together the book is pretty awesome You will never know how much it actually pains me to say this, because yes, at times I was shaking my head and screaming This is ridiculousat my Kindle.But there you have it.I won t repeat the blurb, but I ll just say that you have no idea whatsoever what is going on for the most part of this book The book was trying so hard to be creepy in the beginning and I just didn t feel it Halfway through, it did start to frighten me a bit it s not that there was anything scary about it, but you get this no way out feeling, Alexander s niceties just adding to it rather than soothing it Liese s paranoia intensifying with every next sentence Toward the end, she grips you with it so tight you are holding your breath, waiting for what will happen next, and you feel just as trapped as she does.He humiliates her in very subtle ways blink and you ll miss it and she tries to pretend none of it happened A battle of wills of some sort, and she loses every time Unintentionally Deliberately I just don t know.Liese is one messed up lady I hated her and I loved her Mostly I hated her Read the book, I promise that you ll feel the same.Now, the worst part about her, the narrator of this book, is that she lies to you EVERY WORD SHE SAYS IS A LIE.Never have I felt so betrayed after reading a book So manipulated by someone I thought I could trust But this is why in the end, I felt this book was so awesome.What was the truth What was the reality The only thing I thought was real The beginning and the end Literally, the very last sentence, and you figure it out Actually, that s a lie, too You ll see view spoiler you don t know if this whole thing was her idea, a farewell gift to Alexander, if they were in on it together, carefully planning it out, or maybe it was all some sort of a twisted fantasy of Alexander s and she was just another pawn hide spoiler Despite the hype about this book, I didn t enjoy it at all I found the characters not only unattractive, but boring I ve read and enjoyed many books featuring unpleasant people, but the characters in The Engagement are so two dimesnsional I couldn t get to know them They left me cold I felt no interest in trying to understand and explain them This applies not only to Liese and Alexander, but to the minor characters as well.It s an unrealistic situation It s confusing and difficult to follow, and I think this is because the characters are not believable.There was no enjoyment in reading this book it quickly became a drudge It was a book club read, so I ploughed on, but I was so pleased to reach the end I have been told that other example of Hooper s writing are exciting, but based on this I won t be bothering. This will be in the running for the worst novel I read all year Yes, it was almost as bad as The White Masai I read it because Hooper was an author with whom I was previously not familiar, and an earlier novel of hers had been nominated for the Orange Prize I just searched the other 1 and 2 star reviews so that I could simply like someone s else s review and not have to write this, but no one else put into words what I thought no one hated it in the way I did It began with an intriguing premise and the writing was good enough Then it just fell off in the middle section until every fifth sentence was howlingly terrible I started marking bad sentences but then grew weary for there were so many Some were just trite It was horrible to know he d been lying on the other side of the wall to me, thinking up his next move Some were dumb I wanted to lay my head in his shoulder, to touch his hand Watching this had broken me in some way, had broken through to something I hadn t known was closed over But the protagonist s nonsensical vacillations were as much to blame as the words I don t fault the protagonist character as in, she wasn t believable she was illogical she was nuts some readers said these things to explain their problem with the book I blame the author for writing this character.And, if you re writing an erotic thriller with BDSM themes there should be some actual sex described Hooper only told me of the attraction between these two people, but for the novel to make sense the reader needed to understand the dynamics between them Hooper only alluded to their relations but she always veered away from describing the acts.There is muchto complain about but I shan t waste anytime. Liese Campbell is an English architect working in real estate trying to make ends meet, but she is in a financial crisis Enters Alexander Colquhoun, the heir to a pastoral dynasty who is looking for a city apartment or maybe somethingThe two enter into an erotic game that includes sex for money This leads to a weekend away in luxury, in what is known as the girlfriend experience But is this just a fun game or is this a disaster waiting to happen I ve not read a book like this, at one point I thought it was Indecent Proposal and at other times I thought it was going to turn into a Pretty Woman scenario There is an air of mystery and or something muchsinister with the situation and I couldn t put my finger on the real motivation of both Liese and Alexander.I really got emotional at this book at some points I thought it was exciting, at times I thought it was disturbing Then there were the times I wanted to throw the book across the room and yell at the characters to sort their sh t out I guess this emotional investment is what made this book so enjoyable I like a book that makes me rage and keep me coming back forand Chloe Hooper s The Engagement did just that.There was this quote going around that called this the literary version of Fifty Shades of Grey which really bothers me for one this isn t an erotic book this isa story of a disturbing situation More like a modern take of a gothic novel There were even elements of this book that reminded me of Rebecca not the plot but the idea that the protagonist has someone acting to take her down.Emotionally thrilling novel, The Engagement was not something I would normally read but I m really glad to pick it up because it really was worth reading It s a dark psychological tale that is sure to be enjoyed by many people I do like that hint of erotic thriller within the novel, while it wasn t arousing it has the whole sex and power element that really helped this novel This is a quick exciting read for anyone looking for a deliciously cynical novel.This review originally appeared on my blog What a bizarre little book It s not every day I read a book with a naked woman on the cover, so I suppose I should have expected as much.Liese Campbell, feeling the tightening noose of debt, falls into a complicated relationship with Alexander Colquhoun, an attractive, somewhat awkward farmer who pays her for sex She believes they are playing a game, so when he invites her for a weekend to his isolated farmhouse in the Australian outback, she accepts, thinking the money he offers will solve some of her financial problems Over the weekend, tension increases as Liese begins to question Alexander s intentions and her own mental stability Another reviewer called this an erotic psychological thriller without the erotica True, but strangely not as compelling as you d think I admire the writing, especially the author s use of body language to convey tension, but I didn t feel connected to the narrator, who was increasingly unreliable and unlikeable Maybe this was part of the author s intent To make the reader feel distanced and disoriented If so, she gets an A I expected there to be a surprise, a twist, an explanation to tether the story to something reliable, but the end is abrupt, ambiguous and, for me, felt unfinished On a side note, I ve only read two books set in Australia, and they both involved crazy men who held women captive in the outback So, the question is do I need to readbooks or avoid Australian men 3 StarsThis was a very challenging book for me to rate as I vacillated between 2 stars and 4 stars from cover to cover In the end the 2 star portions about evenly matched with the 4 star segments so by default I landed on the statistical mean of 3 stars Part of the challenge was the length of the book Just 197 pages long, was it a very short book or a very long short story It felt like there just wasn t enough time and space to fully explore the characters and develop a powerful story It was good mind you, but I finished it feeling very unsatisfied, yearning to know so muchabout Liese Campbell, age 35, a normal Norwich girl and Alexander Colquhoun, 45 years old and a wealthy Victoria sheep and cattle farm owner So many Goodreaders loved this book and I wanted to love it too but after turning it over and over in my head for six days I just can t love it I liked it though Liese Campbell receives an invitation to spend a June weekend with Alexander Colquhoun at his Warrowill sheep and cattle farm in the wilds of Victoria In exchange for her company Liese will receive a sizable cash payment from Alexander The amount of money is enough to delay her planned departure from Melbourne for two months She desperately needs the money Liese was an interior architect in England before she and three of her colleagues were laid off during the global financial crisis Saddled with lots of credit card debt from frivolous purchases she made to soothe the pain of her disappointment with life, she moves to Melbourne to start a brand new life and works as an agent for her uncle s real estate agency After six weeks of training she quickly learns the key to success is to be attractive Alexander inherited the family Warrowill sheep and cattle farm, a business that is isolated in the outback of Victoria, abutting the Grampian National Park, and has been in the family for over 160 years His success with ranch operations made him a very wealthy albeit lonely man Four months earlier, Alexander inquired about real estate in the Melbourne area through Liese s uncle s firm.It is her last appointment of the day and Liese shows Alexander a listing in Melbourne During the tour of the master bedroom their first of many sexual encounters occurs It just happened Alexander offers Liese 100 to clean the soiled bed quilt Liese takes an additional 200 from Alexander s roll of bills She didn t intend to make him pay, it just happened too Liese needs money Alexander is lonely Now they meet whenever Alexander is in town in the empty real estate listings and explore different positions, different rooms, and different fantasies Each tryst pays Liese very well and she s found a solution to her debt problems Alexander has an answer to his loneliness Both are comfortable with the arrangements No one gets hurt Both satisfy unmet needs.So when the weekend invitation along with the lucrative financial offer arrives, Liese accepts and together with Alexander they make the long, lonely drive to the isolated ranch in the dusty barren outback The ranch house is old, the gardens behind the house abandoned and fallow The guest room where she is staying has the trappings of a child s bedroom and the house has no working phones Doors are locked and other rooms appear as if they were hastily abandoned Creep factor is rising Alexander is no longer interested in sex at all Wasn t this supposed to be the culmination of their sexual encounters a weekend of erotic, lustful fantasies before Liese leaves for her new job in Shanghai And Liese finds these very strange letters about her Suddenly Liese questions her judgement Who is the true Alexander Colquhoun What are his intentions How can she escape and find help in such an isolated part of the country Sounds like a heart stopping psychological thrill ride right Not quite An additional 100 pages and this would have been a killer story no pun intended I did feel the tension and suspense I did feel the emotional turmoil and uncertainty I did sense a sociopath inflicting psychological torture I did feel the desperation and mortal fear I did feel confusion and complicity, even acquiescence I did enjoy the head games I did want to jump inside this book and shake some sense into Liese I just didn t feel the tension and fear and psychological pathology enough to bite my nails or hold tight to the edge of my chair The author brought me right to the very edge and disappointed me, let me down, let me walk away unfulfilled I wanted so much .This is a quick, interesting little read with many twists and turns along the way but I prefer my psychological thrillers with farmeat on the bones. psst, there is a real review nowblair has written an amazing review of this book and even though she liked itthan i did, reading her review made me like the bookjust because i liked her review so much and all of her reviews, honestly.i will probably review this, but for now read hers and give it a million votes, because it is grand okay, so now i will actually review this but you should still give blair a lot of votes, because she liked this book a lotthan i did, and enthusiasm should always be rewarded, especially articulate enthusiasm, which is a skill set i am still learning.objectively, this is a very good book it attempts to do something quite tricky, and manages to pull it off with ease we have an unreliable narrator coming up against a taciturn man in a story of sexual role playing, extreme ambiguity, and a crumbling old mansion, with incredibly delicate writing and a truly remarkable ability when it comes to building tension.subjectively, i say meh while i recognize that this is a very well written book, it just didn t move me as a reader i had different expectations going into this book, and so help me, if that dude from my harry turtledove review comes back here and tells me it is foolish to have expectations going into a book, as though we do not choose our books based on whether we think they will interest us, but instead just select them blindly from the shelves, knowing nothing, i will trepan him i will for me, i saw the words grand, decaying mansion in the jacket copy, and i was sold.i am a fan of contemporary fiction that incorporates the traditions of the gothic i like the overblown emotions that usually follow, the grand schemes, the bumps in the nightthis is different this is the antithesis of gothic this islike marguerite duras, where you have angular, reserved characters circling each other in some sort of cliffs notes version of actual human emotion calculating, cold, separate and while liese is anything but angular, if you know what i mean, her emotions are she may only be a call girl for one person, but she s got the mentality down pat.and the story is better than anything i have ever gotten out of duras, but it s just not me i will say that it kept me guessing, i had no idea who was conning whom, and how the stakes would be raised, but at the same time, i didn t really care, because the characters were so intentionally flat there is a great deal of psychological interplay at work, and it is sort of fascinating, but there is just this distance that is hard to crack through but if you don t go into this expecting a guilty pleasure melodrama, you will probably like this a lot like blair. Liese Campbell Is Working As An Estate Agent In Melbourne When She First Meets Alexander Colquhoun The Handsome Scion Of A Prominent Farming Family, He Is Searching For A Pied A Terre In The City At Another Disappointing Viewing, Liese Leads Alexander To The Bedroom, And They Sleep Together Afterwards, He Pulls Out A Roll Of Cash, And She Takes Three Hundred Dollars Half Price , She Says Jokingly, Because I Like You Liese Is Not A Prostitute, But It Is An Erotic Game, She Thinks, That Both Parties Are Playing Whenever Alexander Is In The City He Calls Her, And Pays For Sex For Liese, Who Has Travelled To Australia From England After Losing Her Job, The Relationship Is Fun, And A Useful Way To Begin Paying Off Her Debts When Liese Decides To Return Home, She Receives A Letter From Alexander Inviting Her To The Country For The Weekend, And Offering A Price She Cannot Refuse A Few Days Of Sex And Luxury, She Thinks A Final Fling Before She Departs At His House, A Grand Victorian Mansion At The Centre Of Countless Acres Of Farmland, He Presents Her With A Ring It Is A Ridiculous Proposition, But In It Liese Sees A Way Out Of Her Penury, And A Fairytale Ending She Accepts Alexander However Is Not Quite Ready To Make Liese His Wife First He Wants Her To Tell Him What She Does With Other Men When She Explains She Is Not A Whore, He Refuses To Believe Her Worse, He Shows Her Letters He Has Received From Former Customers, Describing In Obscene Detail What She Used To Do For Them One Of The Letters Even Refers To Her Schooldays In Norfolk Who Has Written These Letters And Why Trapped In The House, Liese Must Uncover The True Nature Of Alexander S Fantasies, And Her Own, If She Is Ever To Escape A Powerful And Unsettling Novel Of Sex, Deception And The Lure Of Money, The Engagement Is A Provocative And Thrilling New Work From A Writer Of Rare Talent