Turn of the Key By Ruth Ware
Facts are everything to Rowan, the main character in Ruth Ware’s latest novel, Turn of the Key. In honor of her, let me state these facts very clearly, upfront:
Thank You to Scout Press/Simon and Schuster, NetGalley, and Edelweiss for an ARC in exchange for a fair review.
Turn of the Key Facts
Fact: I read this book in five hours flat, by a pool, in broad daylight.
Fact: No less than five innocent people walked within five feet of me. This caused a cascading tide of events. I jumped through my skin. They jumped through their skin and asked me, quite shocked if I was ok. To which, I could only look at my kindle, look-up remembering myself to be in public and look back down pathetically at that silent device as if begging these kind strangers for safety, the source of my whimpering.
And. Fact: For those (secondary fact? I was the only one) that were not in the throes of The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware? This is not conducive to relaxing by a pool. I created a dozen skittish kittens on what should’ve been an otherwise beautiful, sunny, relaxing day.
Here is where this review is going to get really difficult because with brilliant books that are in this genre? THEY ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO TALK ABOUT. You have to…
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unraveling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. Nor the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
It was and was not everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.
Here’s what we can safely talk about. Ware’s brilliance is everywhere. The structure that Turn of the Key takes is conducive to heart palpitations. From the opening sentence, you know that Rowan is writing to a lawyer and pleading for help. However, her competing goals set-up a very anxiety-ridden narrative.
- It has only made things worse to give parts of the story that make Rowan look bad. So, she will tell the entire truth to her last chance lawyer. If there is one thing Rowan is sure of, it is this: no matter her flaws, her mistakes, and what she could have done better? She didn’t kill that child.
- She is also frenetically getting the entirety of this story out as quickly as possible because she needs a better lawyer, like yesterday. Rotting in a prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Rowan knows that both her and possibly the lives of the other children in the Heatherbrae home are in danger.
Ware takes the panic-ridden and frightened voice of a prisoner trapped for something they didn’t do and mixes it with the desperate need to tell every aching detail of the truth. The anxiety spirals as she gets deeper into the story, trying to stay coherent, stay on track but as both her desperation to finish and emotional feelings overwhelm her, it all collides through the narrative.
YOU. WILL. FEEL. IT.
Good luck staying out of the grips of Rowan’s emotional despair and physical anxiety. Your stomach will flop, the pulse will race, the heart will jump. It is all there. Ware sucks you in through Rowan and makes you feel every painstaking breath throughout this story. From the very first, incomplete, sentence to the jaw-dropping conclusion? You won’t breathe. Or if you do? It won’t be easy.
17 thoughts on “Fact: Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware Is Exactly Not What You Think It Is. Bless Be The Summer Reads.”
While I liked this story, it wasn’t my favorite of hers. Glad you enjoyed it poolside.
May I ask why it wasn’t one of your favorites? I haven’t read many so I am curious
Wow! This sounds awesome… I think I’ve just added another book to my TBR
I’m starting to feel like I should apologize for making someone’s TBR grow. But this book is completely worth it.
Definitely! I’ve totally given up apologising for that… and truthfully, if you saw the size of my tbr, you would realise that one book isn’t going to make that much of a difference ????
haha! Love your facts about how you read this book! Especially the innocent people. How nice to just sit at the pool and READ! Glad to hear you loved it so much!
Thank you!!! 🙂 Lord knows I couldn’t make it up. Poor people. Yes it is nice to be able to do. It was a fantastic read! I hope you are getting to some good reads this summer?
yeah! Summer is going SO MUCH BETTER than spring when I was in a terrible slump!
I’m glad to hear it! Slumps suck. Glad you are back!
Great review! I’ll add this to my fall TBR list! ????
Yay! You won’t regret it!
Haha fun review, I love that you read it pool side. I was going to say in my review that this is best as a nighttime, in pitch dark read but I’m glad to hear that it is just as effective in other circumstances.
Thank you! Yeah I scared all the people. It would be an incredible nighttime read for sure! You are absolutely right. And probably safe for innocent bystanders well except for the cats lol