I picked up Needlework on a whim in the last few weeks, and the day after Deirdre Sullivan was actually announced as an author for YALC. Now that i had her book, i figured it would be a great place to start my YALC TBR for this year and got straight in to reading Needlework.
Previous to picking it up, i had my eye on it for quite some time and i don’t know why i never picked it up. I loved the cover and in honesty had absolutely no idea what the story was about. I went in to it blind and i’m so glad i did. The way it’s written in to smaller sections is very addictive and makes you want to continue reading on and on. It’s one of the fastest books i’ve finished this year in just a few days, and i was not expecting this in the slightest.
There are a lot of trigger warnings for this book that i was not expecting. Think along the lines of Louise O’Neill. There is a lot of mention of rape (no graphic scenes) and abuse, and also some mention of self harm (a few graphic scenes). I sort of wish i’d known about these triggers before i started it, but at least i can warn others. The issues discussed within the book are done incredibly well in my opinion. Some of the other books that discuss these topics that are popular i haven’t really enjoyed, and some i feel like have not addressed the issues properly. But Needlework was one of the best representations of abuse, desperation and loneliness i’ve read. Although it was a tough read, i really loved learning about someone in these situations.
The writing was absolutely incredible. It was smooth and easy to read and i absolutely adored the flow of the book. It’s all written as a monologue with very few inserts of speech. Whereas i usually cannot stand a book without speech (i need something to break up text usually), but with Needlework i barely noticed the lack of speech because of how smooth and broken up the text was.
I noticed very few things that i disliked about this book. You loved the characters you should and disliked all the ones you also should (to be honest, most of the characters you are supposed to dislike), and you also connect with each character on such a real and raw level. I cannot praise this book enough, and i wish it had so much more hype around it than it has.