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Review of 'Plaything' - Bea Setton




'Plaything' is the perfect example of how to use a title. It could refer to so many things and people within the book and yet it's so simple.


At its heart, this is a story about obsession. On the face of it, it's about Anna's obsessive love for Caden. However, Caden is still obsessed with ex-girlfriend and Anna is also obsessive about her work.


Throughout the narrative, Anna makes bad decisions about who to trust. Her friend is a thief, her colleague betrays her over and over again and yet she still confides in them. It is easy to see how someone lacking in self-worth might fall into this trap, but Anna has every reason to be confident - she knows she is clever - however it is her physical appearance which worries her and the comparisons she makes between herself and Caden's ex are at the root of her problems. I think this says as much about the society we live in as it does about Anna herself. Equally, at work, her supervisor dismisses her concerns and she is the one who is expected to help both her male peers and her female colleague. It is dressed up as both being her issues - she needs to accept she is expected to work hard; she is better than her peers so is asked to do more - but ultimately, it could be argued that both have more to do with her gender and the expectations made of her as a result, than anything else.


Ultimately, as things unravel, I found it quite hard to feel any sympathy for her at all. I was never quite sure what the truth was and her unreliability meant I was consistently questioning her version of events. This was borne out as the story progressed and led to the incredibly unsettling ending. This was not a book that was a comfortable read, but it was intriguing and compelling and it was like watching a car crash unfold. The end result was never in doubt, but it made for an interesting tale in the unfolding of it.

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