Tall Poppies – Louise Bagshawe

(Reviewed by Ishita RC)

Romance and psychological thrillers have always been my favorite. But this book attracted me mainly because of its cover which is a contradiction to the title.* However, as you progress through the book, you will relate to the symbolism of it.

“Tall Poppies Syndrome”,  a term used mainly in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, refers to a social phenomenon in which people of legitimate merit and skill are resented, attacked or criticized by their peers because of their talents, success and/or achievements.

The book has successfully portrayed this syndrome amidst a dual setting of Brooklyn and London. The lead protagonists are two gorgeous female characters,  Nina Roth and Elizabeth Savage. They are depicted as strong individuals from different cultures and different upbringings. The contrast which divides them also reflects their similar drive to succeed amidst a society dominated by men who will do anything to bring them down.

The tone of feminism based on sexism and gender discrimination did influence my reading choice. However, this very tone makes it difficult to like the strong characters of the leads protagonists. The ease in the flow of words with the use of simple English will definitely make you read it. However, the “wow” factor, the one in which you just don’t want to put a book down, is sadly lacking.

That said, I think that Tall Poppies will appeal to those who prefer a strong female character in the lead role. There are some who will like reading the book because of the issue of sexism and relate to it on a more personal level. But my suggestion would be to read the book because you enjoy a good read with a strong story line, and strong characters – both good and bad – with whom you create a personal bond.

(* Ed. Note: The cover shown here is not the actual over that Ishita is referring about.)

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One Response to Tall Poppies – Louise Bagshawe

  1. J D Jung says:

    As an American, I am not familiar with the term “Tall Poppies Syndrome”. However I am well aware of the condition.

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