Jude Black is in hospital with severe injuries having been found on the beach after a fall – or a push? – from the bluff near her home. As the doctors try to save her life, it becomes apparent that they are striving to save two lives, not one. Jude is pregnant and the identity of the father is as much of a mystery as many things in Jude’s life. As Jude lies in her comatose state, aware of all around her, she begins to sort through some of the things in her life, in an almost subconscious effort to reach some kind of peace. As Jude moves closer to this, the turmoil in everyone else’s lives becomes achingly apparent.
Bluff is very much a ‘things are never quite as they seem’ novel, with a lot more below the surface than is originally suggested. Characters who seem perfectly together, warm, friendly, kind, confident or focused have major flaws revealed over the course of the novel. Though Jude begins as the messed up disaster of the community, it becomes clear during the book that there are those with much darker secrets.
Like many novels with a ‘difficult’ main character, I found Bluff to be very thought-provoking. Jude is flawed – the memories and flashbacks suggest she can be miserable and anti-social – but she does display real vulnerability and tenderness at times.
The novel raises some big issues (some of which I can’t reveal without giving key plot points away), including organ donation, the church and drug abuse. I felt these complex areas were dealt with sensitively and in a thought-provoking manner.
Bluff was a very enjoyable read that kept me hooked. Touching, poignant and very sad at times, I found it well written and interesting.**Review originally published on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave. I received a copy of the book in exchange for my fair and honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation and all views are my own.**