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Book Analysis - 'Once Upon a Lane' by Duncan Wilson

The majority of this analysis is going to be based around characters in this book because so many are introduced and overall contribute the most complexity to the storyline and plot.

Let’s set the scene. The wide variety of characters all resign on one lane, living in homes uniquely decorated and yards all well put, accept one. This mix of simple setting with complex characters is a perfect combination to make sure the reader is not overwhelmed. I really appreciate this balance.

Characters that stood out:

Ms. Habernathy, the first character mainly introduced, relatable in her silent treatment ways. Known for her glares and knitting, this lady is to not be messed with and the whole lane knows it.

Mr. Green was next to be introduced, and he is definitely defined as the orbit to the center of the lane, and that vision is produced without even saying so. His joyous personality and dedication to the yards and letters of the lane is remarkable.

The professor living on the lane provided the wise end of the stick, he reminded me of a bundled jar of wisdom and knowledge not quite opened yet.

The energy and life of the small community was definitely provided by young Tommy, the youngest Murphy, and his sidekick Bobby. They always knew how to talk to any of the neighbors and spice up the mood with giddy and mischievous, humorous motives and moves.

When it came to Ella and Ida, they just came off as the relatable duo. They were easy to relate to in the sense of how they communicate with one another, and their warm nature of baking tasty treats for the lane made me feel at home as well.

Matthew is an important character in this story because his journey down the lane, asking homeowners and residents where the specific house he was on the hunt for, displayed a variety of relationships and communication among the characters briefly introduced before him.

The characters include a wise and complex variety, and the author does an outstanding job of clearly navigating through each and giving all of them a unique sense of purpose on the lane and personality, which I was thankful for. I not once got confused about who was talking or portraying an action. They all had distinct features.

Starting the book out with this long scene of friendly gestures and interactions among the neighbors helped to aid in the dive to the initial murder investigation. This jump from light to dark quickly rose suspicion in me and had me on the edge of my seat.

Definitely read this book if you are into plot twists and unexpected moments.

I wanted to also identify the factor of the yards and gardens on the lane in which all of the characters lived, as I briefly mentioned in the beginning. Each yard and garden are diversely explained, but all have a common theme of cleanliness and dedication to be well put by each homeowner. This compliance of the people enhanced the fact that the one house to be suspicious of had a dead, withered, untouched yard. The symbolic representation of the dark yard in comparison to the healthy well grown yards displays a sign to beware. This drives the rest of the story. Read ‘Once Upon a Lane’ to find out more.


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Lauren Mikael
Lauren Mikael
Oct 05, 2021

Sounds good! I'll have to check it out soon! ☺️


Michelle gast
Michelle gast
Oct 05, 2021

Sounds pretty interesting. The characters sound different from each other. Thanks for sharing.

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