A Woman Alone by Nina Laurin (A Bookies Book Club read)

“many of us dream or joke about a self cleaning home, dinner ready by the time we walk in the door after a long day at work – so often we learn – the grass is not as green on the other side….” _Sheila

When Cecelia has an extremely traumatic experience, she no longer feels safe in her home. She, her husband, and young daughter move to a wonderful neighborhood where smart homes are offered. These homes are deemed to not only make you feel secure, they provide above and beyond comforts – such as knowing what temperature you like your water for bathing, when you want the lights on and off, notifying you when someone is approaching you home as well as who they are and if you wish to answer, as of course – how you take your coffee.

At first all seems well in this dream home. And then, things change. The homes AI (artificial intelligence) Saya, starts to play music that she claims Cecelia requested. The bath water is scalding hot and the coffee waiting for Cecelia in the morning is not at all the way she takes it. Cecelia felt at first that this was a malfunction in the home, until Saya starts calling Cecelia , “Lydia”, even though they are supposed to be the first people in this home. As things continue to malfunction in all areas of Cecelia’s life, she finds she has no one to turn to. Her husband is becoming more distant, and she has no real friends since the move. Cecelia learns that is she wants to survive she is on her own to do so.

I read this with my book club and was fascinated with the “smart” home. I would love dinner to be ready when I came home! In fact, I enjoyed most of the story line. At times it felt stretched and as my book club pointed out, there were lose ends that went no where and a few underdeveloped characters that we felt could have added to the story – but its hard to care about people you don’t really know.

I always enjoy a book that is unique in its telling and I have to give Nina Laurin credit for that. I listened to this one on audio while painting and enjoyed the story line and found the ending to be a surprise – which I loved.

Give it a go if you are looking for something different and a good thought provoker. I would love to hear what you think if you do.

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