The Weekend by L. H. Stacey
2/13/23; 322 pages
The Weekend by L. H. Stacey is a slow-paced so-so thriller.
On the night of their graduation party at the Kirkwood estate amid an excess of alcohol and drugs, Lizzie's boyfriend Thomas Kirkwood is found murdered. Lizzie now goes by Elizabeth and she has sworn to never return to the manor. Ten years have passed and Elizabeth receives an invitation to return for a memorial weekend for Thomas organized by his mother, Ada. For some inexplicable reason she decides to attend to go. She knows almost immediately that it was a mistake.
The narrative alternates between the present day and ten years ago.
In order for this alternating timeline to be successful,
Elizabeth/Lizzie needs to be a character who is tenacious. self-aware,
and compelling enough to carry the story and keep readers interested in
what is happening in both timelines. I'm afraid that the character is
unable to accomplish that task. Lizzie can be depicted as a young,
gullible, inexperienced woman but after ten years one would think she
would grow up and toughen up. If she's going to make the decision to
attend this weekend after ten years of no contact, she needs to have the intestinal fortitude to deal with it.
Additionally, although I appreciate Stacey's author note that it was difficult to delve into a world surrounded by drugs and hedonism, I'd add that it was also very difficult to read about it and have any compassion for the numerous unlikable characters. I finished the novel but there were really no shocking surprises or twists.