SUMMARY – The 10-second review
When life treats you badly, it turns you bad. It can even turn you into a serial killer. Superbly written historical novel based on a true story.
I loved this book! Triflers Need Not Apply is vivid, gory, page-turning and at times very moving and sad. It will make you angry, make you sad and at times possibly make you want to throw up. And on top of all that, it’s based on a true story.
All in all, Triflers Need Not Apply is an absolute corker that deserves to be a bestseller.
Starting in 1900, we follow Bella from her early years in Norway, as an immigrant to America, and through the following years as she marries, builds a family and finds her own rather particular way to “survive”.
Bella must be one of the most unscrupulous women to have ever lived. A serial killer who lets no one stand in her way. It left me reeling between revulsion, horror and a rather unwilling… admiration!
Bella learns very early on that while the poor tend to suffer horrendously, women can get a particularly raw deal. The amount of violence that men dole out to women was, and continues to be, an absolute nightmare. Bella, damaged early on in life, decides to fight back and to fight to get what she wants. While no one would approve her methods, it’s hard not to occasionally empathise with her.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. While of course Bella is a murderous psychopath, it does make you reflect on how much people can be expected to take when life is a daily round of backbreaking work, hunger, poverty and violence. It leaves you feeling surprised – not to mention relieved – that more people don’t go on killing rampages.
So plenty of food for thought. Indeed, this would make a brilliant book club read, guaranteed to spark a discussion.
In addition, Triflers Need Not Apply is superbly written. It captivates and pulls you in from the first page. Every sentence sizzles! It is so vivid, you feel like you are right in there with the characters, seeing what they see, smelling the smells, hearing the noise, feeling the kid’s hands pulling on your skirt.
I think this is one of the very best books I’ve read this year and I’ll be astonished if it doesn’t become a bestseller. It certainly deserves to.
My thanks to Netgalley for giving me a free copy of this book. All my reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, regardless of how I acquire the book.
Triflers Need Not Apply is available from all major booksellers.
You might also like: The Suspicions of Mr Whicher | Kate Summerscale