I’m a big fan of a human story whether it be in a book or a documentary. I really like to get a look inside someones head and try to figure them out. If that’s something you enjoy too then The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a book that you’ll definitely enjoy reading.
The whole story is focused on examining the life of the illusive character Sophie Stark from the perspectives of those ‘closest’ to her. I put quote marks around the word closest because I felt that no one ever really knew her. Which adds one of the big points raised in this book. I find that by getting to know a character through the eyes of the people around them shows how we as humans only allow people to see what we want them to see. Which as every characters perception of Sophie is very different pays credit to Anna North’s excellent writing.
If I had to say one thing about this book it would be that it is very cleverly written. As the reader you move backwards and forwards through Sophie’s life. One character may raise a questions that doesn’t get answered until a couple of chapters down the line by a completely different character whose paths have never crossed. Another part that I found interesting was Anna’s focus on how Sophie had an effect on so many peoples lives, changing their paths. It was something I found to be very observant on real life and how we are all shaped by the people we meet.
Moving on, before I get too deep and philosophical, this book is ultimately a mystery. Moving through you gradually piece together the eventual demise of Sophie Stark. It became like a murder mystery, not that I’m saying she was murdered, but by analysing someone with incredible genius and their struggle to fit into the world gives an interesting view on hindsight. With the title letting the reader in on the fact that Sophie dies allows you to become the ‘detective’ figuring out what happened in the lead up and eventual death of Sophie.
The bottom line is, this is a book that really made me think, after reading The Girl on the Train I was hungry for more thought provoking reading and this certainly did the job.