Thursday 28 September 2023

Review - the Palisades by Gail Lynn Hanson

The Palisades by Gail Lynn Hanson
Publisher: Slippery Fish Press
Release date: 24 October 2023
Back cover blurb: Dorothy Fiske, eighty-three, adores movie stars, jewelry, murder mysteries, and men. At twenty-five, inspired by Judy Garland and Angela Lansbury, she moved to Los Angeles from a religiously strict Midwestern home. Despite the glamour, Dorothy, heartbroken, was childless. She blamed her sweet, unambitious husband, Eugene, claiming his sperm was weak, but Dorothy knows the truth. Ruth, a sixty-six-year-old home health aide, fears eviction from her LA apartment due to her unusual, antisocial behavior. Previously fired from a nursing facility for residents dying under her care, Ruth targets Dorothy, a widow from a wealthy family in Pacific Palisades, California. Lonely yet prideful, Dorothy hires Ruth as a "lady's maid." Ruth accepts the position and masterfully entwines herself into Dorothy's life because she wants to live in Dorothy's house, alone.The Palisades is a deliciously spun psychological suspense brimming with dark humor in which two women develop a peculiar relationship amid a miasma of Ruth's disturbing memories and Dorothy's pervasive delusions of old Hollywood. Poverty and privilege mingle, companionship turns bizarre, and identity is questioned as the women desperately try to fulfill their shared yearning for motherhood.

The Palisades is an unusual story, and not entirely what I expected - which is not always a bad thing. Particularly not in this instance! 

This novel is a beautifully written tale of Hollywood glamour and perfectly imperfect characters.

Dorothy Fiske is a wealthy eighty three year old, who moved to California in her twenties to live with her Aunt, and in search of the glamour Hollywood lifestyle that she would not find in her hometown, particularly with her strict religious upbringing. 

Ruth is a sixty six year old care giver, who targets Dorothy specifically. Having been fired from her previous job at a nursing facility, and constantly living in fear of being evicted from her apartment, Ruth is keen to make herself indispensable to Dorothy. Because she wants to live in Dorothy's house - Alone.

Both of them love murder mysteries, jewels - and money.

At first glance, these characters are neither particularly likeable, but as their characters (and friendship) grow throughout the novel, then they become a little more palatable. There is always an underlying sense of foreboding throughout this novel.

A kind of tension where you are certain that something is going to happen, but you just don't know what or when...  

A highly enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more from this author. 

The Palisades is available to pre-order now via Amazon and all good book shops.

Thank You to and the publisher/author who sent me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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