Book Review: The Housekeeper’s Son

The Housekeeper's SonI just finished reading The Housekeeper’s Son, by Christopher Loke. This novel just came out in May. Sad to say, I bought it when it first launched, but have been too occupied with work and kids to have any time to sit and read it. My anticipation in reading this book stems from more than the interesting synopsis on the cover; it’s the first book that my publisher, Jolly Fish Press launched. So there was a lot of excitement around this novel for more than one reason.

So after owning it for a month, I was finally able to make the time to read it last week. If you’re not familiar with this book, it’s the story of a woman, Eleanor, who’s in her seventies. She killed her son forty years ago and is now on trial for the murder of her employer’s daughter. I don’t want to give you much more than that, because you should read it for yourself to find out what happens.

It has some very soft paranormal elements to it. If I had to pick a genre for this book, I think I’d just simply call it a drama. But I would like to point out that there is a lot of intrigue throughout the story. The dynamics of the characters will have you speculating all through it.

As I picked up the book and began reading it, the first thing that struck me was the literary style that Loke exuded. He was almost poetic with the descriptions of the places and people in his book. If I had to compare it to another novel, the only thing I can think of is To Kill a Mockingbird. I don’t mean to say that both books cover the same political issues, nor are they from the same character perspectives (Mockingbird is from the perspective of a little girl, and Housekeeper is from the perspective of an old woman). The reason why I think they are comparable is because they are both so eloquent in their writing while covering some foreboding issues.

The Housekeeper’s Son is somewhat dark in the content it covers, while still maintaining a clean read. I wouldn’t be surprised if this book becomes a literary classic. I appreciate that the author doesn’t try to gloss over the pernicious happenings that the characters do and experience. This makes the book feel more alive to me.

Loke’s portrayal of the small Utah town is ironically true. It could be any Christian small town in America, and any reader could imagine the characters of the town behaving in just such a manner.

The only downside to this book is that I wanted just little bit more. The ending was well done, but my mind wasn’t ready to leave the story yet. I think I would have liked just a few more pages to see what had happened to the other characters that were involved. Maybe I needed to have an epilogue or something to make me feel more satisfied.

Anyway, despite this small complaint, I did enjoy the book. I give it four out of five stars. Check it out – I’ll bet you’ll get sucked into it like I did.