I was torn about whether or not I could write this review. I haven't written a DNF review before. Usually if I'm going to dump a book, I do it before I'm far enough in to write anything of substance about it. But, I was on the exercise bike at the gym without anything else to read, and it's both fast reading and a short book, so I was actually half way through before I gave up.
I can deal with a lot of ugliness in literature. I'm a Song of Ice and Fire fan, so it's not like I have trouble with seeing awful things happen to fictional characters. The cover text on the ARC says that it's about Didi's obsession with the son, Tarun, that her husband had with his secret, second family. I found it to be instead about her abuse of the son, emotionally and sexually in the portion of the book that I read. It was clear from the rest of the description that she did abuse them, but I think that I must have expected a psychological look at her obsession, which would require spending the book in her head. Instead, the only time the close third-person narration has come close to being from her perspective so far has been in the preliminary chapters before the abuse began. Instead we're following Tarun exclusively, and instead of a book about obsession it's a book about abuse Stockholm syndrome.
I don't object to reading about awful things, but I want them either to be part of a larger plot (see G.R.R.M.) or to be interesting awful things. I want to be shown something terrible and fascinating, either in the scale of the awfulness or by taking me inside the mind of the perpetrator in a way I couldn't normally understand (e.g. Hannibal Lector). I don't read fiction to for a story that I could find in a newspaper easily.
No Grade: DNF
The City Son will be available June 17.