This is a review that’s been well overdue from me but everything’s been a bit busy but it’s finally here! My review for Jessie Burton’s wonderful new novel, The Confession.
I love Jessie’s novels and her writing is always something I look forward to. As soon as this was announced, I hit the pre-order button straight away. But first, what’s it about? Here’s the synopsis:
One winter’s afternoon on Hampstead Heath in 1980, Elise Morceau meets Constance Holden and quickly falls under her spell. Connie is bold and alluring, a successful writer whose novel is being turned into a major Hollywood film. Elise follows Connie to LA, a city of strange dreams and swimming pools and late-night gatherings of glamorous people. But whilst Connie thrives on the heat and electricity of this new world where everyone is reaching for the stars and no one is telling the truth, Elise finds herself floundering. When she overhears a conversation at a party that turns everything on its head, Elise makes an impulsive decision that will change her life forever.
Three decades later, Rose Simmons is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was a baby. Having learned that the last person to see her was Constance Holden, a reclusive novelist who withdrew from public life at the peak of her fame, Rose is drawn to the door of Connie’s imposing house in search of a confession . . .
Sounds good, right?! Like I’ve said, Jessie’s novels are some of my favourites and you just know with a Jessie Burton novel, you’re in safe hands. And The Confession is truly something special. It’s my favourite novels of hers for so many reasons. This is a little different to her previous novels in that it’s more modern and set in the present day but with flashbacks to the 80’s but it still has the same ingredients of a classic Jessie Burton novel: important themes at it’s core, full of heart and warmth, gorgeous prose and some beautiful characterisation. I just know, as soon as I read the first page, I’ll be hooked and won’t be able to put the book down and I’ve had read in two days straight. I did it with The Muse – I engulfed it – all in one go! And I did it the same with this one, too.
The Confession focuses on Rose who is looking for answers about her mother but when she finds out it’s linked to a woman named Constance, this opens a whole can of worms. I loved the characters in the novel – I think it’s a novel with the focus more on character than plot – it’s the dynamic and their relationships with one another, which is something I love in a good book. Constance is my favourite character – I just loved her from the moment we meet her. Just like Elise and Rose, we are under her spell. All of the characters felt real, relatable and tangible.
I loved the atmosphere of this book, mostly in part to the setting. It’s the gloomy Hampstead Heath and the glitz and glamour of 1980’s LA. I think Jessie is such a brilliant writer in building an atmosphere and world around her characters. It feels cinematic, almost a character of it’s own. It picks you up and transports you on the Heath or in LA.
A lot of themes and ideas are covered in this novel. From motherhood, family, relationships, fame, secrets, mystery, and many more. But one of my favourite themes and ideas that I took from the novel is how we narrate our lives. From Rose’s friend who narrates her life by her Instagram feed, to Constance and her novels, to Rose being someone else, to Elise trying to fit in her life with Connie, and more. I think it’s such an interesting theme to explore, especially today.
Overall, this is my favourite Jessie Burton novel. I loved it’s scope, it’s cinematic feel, the characters, the story and it feels like the perfect read for an Autumn’s day – a perfect book to curl up with a cup of something warm. I hope this is made into a movie/TV series – I’d be straight there. I can’t wait for the next one.
Have you read The Confession? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!