It’s going to be hard to write about Disclaimer without giving anything away, the whole book is full of twists and surprises and almost every chapter shocked me.
There are two main protagonists to the story, first we meet Catherine who at first glance lives the dream, she is well known in the film industry for making documentaries, she has a husband who she loves and a grown up son who leads an independent life away from home. Next we meet Stephen, a retired teacher who has lost his wife and seems to live a solitary existence.
At first, it’s not clear how the two are linked but Catherine soon finds a book on her nightstand which, as an avid reader, she picks up to read only to find that she is the main character within the book and she realises it holds a secret to her past that if her family found out about, it could destroy them. Shortly afterwards it is revealed that Stephen is the author of the book and knows a part of Catherine’s past that no one else has ever heard.
When I started reading Disclaimer, I found it a little slow to begin with. Catherine’s chapters are in third person while Stephen’s are written in first person and I found it somewhat hard to grasp what was happening due to the chapters constantly switching between the two plots. As soon as I started to understand what was going on with both characters I was gripped. I read this on my Kindle and when I got to 30% I honestly didn’t know how there was still 70% left because I felt the story had almost been told that there was nothing more to happen. Another 5% in and I realised there was so much more to this book and I wanted to know everything.
As soon as things started to progress, I found I had more and more unanswered questions, I would find myself staying awake longer than I had meant to so I could read ‘just one more chapter’ in the hope that it would answer at least one of my questions, what I generally found however is that the one didn’t answer any of my questions, instead it usually presented me with new questions.
Of course the questions weren’t fully answered until the end, about 70% in and we start to learn the truth, questions started getting answered and I finished the last 30% in one sitting because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep without having found out the end of the story.
Was the end predictable? Yes and no, I went through one hundred different theories in my head while I was reading so one of them was bound to be the right conclusion. When I got the answers I found that it was what I was expecting yet somehow it didn’t find it any less shocking, if anything I was gripped by the revelations. I can’t say much more about the outcome because even the smallest detail will spoil the book but I can say that it was well done and I was heartbroken by the ending (if you have read it, I was mostly upset by Stephen’s conclusion.) It wasn’t on par with Gone Girl for me, with that I honestly could never have predicted the middle; I wasn’t expecting it and was completely shocked. Disclaimer did shock me to an extent but it was the aftermath of the truth that really hit me.
The way the two narratives came together and slowly started to unravel a story, was beautiful to me. Although at times the story was complex, I found the book in whole really easy to read and would certainly describe it as a page turner. On top of the two main narratives, at times we got to hear from lesser talked about characters which added excellent insight and new perspectives.
If you’re looking for a book that has an interesting plot but is still easy to read then I’d highly recommend Disclaimer.