Pack up your troubles (in your old “Kit” bag)

Katherine CarlyleI was drawn to this book by the fabulous cover and its blurb.

And I absolutely loved this book for the first 11% – but then she wandered off! Kathryn (Kit) Carlyle is harbouring lots of resentment – about her father, her mother’s death and her “imprisonment” as an embryo before she was implanted in her mother… so abandons her new home in Rome for an unplanned adventure (and to teach her father a lesson?!)

Whilst the premise of the story was good, and there was some touching prose, I found her an unrealistic and odd character. I didn’t really warm to her once the initial premise was revealed and each new destination/chapter/person in her life was a little more unpleasant, a little more unsavoury.

Bizarre and odd, yet somehow strangely compelling. After an initial breather (around 11%, I gave up and read another book before returning to Kit) I raced through. But still leaves an unsettled feeling, like an unfathomable aftertaste… Perhaps this was the author’s point – to get to the bottom of who we really are and where the journey to find out will take us….

MetLineReader rating: An interesting book. 3* for me.

About this book

In the late 80s, Katherine Carlyle is created using IVF. Stored as a frozen embryo for eight years, she is then implanted in her mother and given life. By the age of nineteen Katherine has lost her mother to cancer, and feels her father to be an increasingly distant figure. Instead of going to college, she decides to disappear, telling no one where she has gone. What begins as an attempt to punish her father for his absence gradually becomes a testing-ground of his love for her, a coming-to-terms with the death of her mother, and finally the mise-en-scene for a courageous leap from false empowerment to true empowerment.

Written in the beautifully spare, lucid and cinematic prose that Thomson is known for, Katherine Carlyle uses the modern techniques of IVF and cryopreservation to throw new light on the myth of origins. It is a profound and moving novel about where we come from, what we make of ourselves, and how we are loved.


I received an advance review copy from the publisher Little, Brown Book Group UK in exchange for a fair and honest review. Katherine Carlyle is published on 5th November and is available from Amazon


Author: metlinereader

I am obsessed with books.  In fact, I'd rather be reading than doing anything else.   I enjoy trying out new books and new authors; I do like to "mix and match" genres.  I often have access to books before they are published and would welcome the opportunity to review most books... just not horror or sci-fi, please :)