Book Review

Okay, so where do I begin?

Exit Five from Charing Cross by Valerie KeoghThis is the charming story of one man’s life. I’m really keen not to give away any spoilers so I’ll keep my description brief!

We follow the life story of one Jake Mitchell. His life doesn’t seem overly interesting at first glance but what actually happens to him is not only 100% believable but pretty incredible too. There was one point when my mind was practically like OMG – again no spoilers!

What I loved most was how well the storytelling was executed. For one that isn’t necessarily that gifted for back story I was overly impressed and infuriated at the same time! We start with a great opening scene. A lot of hints are made, a lot of assumptions are created and then we suddenly go back in time – seamlessly I may add – and begin to learn about how he got to where he is. I loved this. It was practically effortless travelling back and all the while, all I could think of was ‘but what’s going to happen? Where is this leading me?’.

Now the infuriating part is that his life story is so inherent to the plot. We find out we’ve actually jumped into his life almost towards the end of the story which means we have to learn all of his history first (almost half the book) and I just wanted to find out what happened! Like I said, beautiful storytelling.

Valerie KeoghWhat resonated so strongly with me was the execution of character. We’re always told as writers to ensure we include description, to give your readers a clear picture of who is talking. Now Keogh has somehow managed that without even providing a description! How is that even possible? One of my favourite scenes is between Jake and the housekeeper. Now without providing a description of the housekeeper, Keogh provides a crystal clear picture of her, entirely through actions and reactions and Jakes perception of the woman. Genius!

My apologies if I seem a little overly-enthusiastic about this book but it honestly caught me by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading but very soon found that it was near impossible to tear me away from reading it.

The author has such a refreshing voice and style. One that I greatly admire and cannot wait to read what else she has written.

P.S. In case you didn’t really get this – I loved this book! And I recommend you to go and read it…

Have you come across a book that’s had a similar effect on you? Join the conversation and tell me which book and how it made you feel in the comments below!


  1. Valerie Dickenson 14th November 2015 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Great review, thank you, Natasha.

    • Natasha Orme 17th November 2015 at 8:17 am Reply

      Thanks Valerie, glad you liked it! Great book 🙂

  2. evelynralph 27th November 2015 at 7:24 pm Reply

    I have not read this book but any others do this thing of involving me in their lives and actions.

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