Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job, and her best friend Marilyn, but when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it’s time to let her terrifying secret past go. Then her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see. Lisa’s world explodes, and she finds everything she has built threatened. Not knowing whom she can trust, it’s up to her to face her past to save what she holds dear.
Whatever you do, if you can help it then don’t read the blurb on Amazon. I can’t believe they printed a major spoiler that wasn’t necessary at all because believe me, before I read the novel I didn’t know and I loved that I was totally wrong-footed what this novel was about, led to believe something else was going on, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
This is only my second novel by the great Sarah Pinborough and she really deserves that noun before her name. I absolutely loved the fantastical Behind Her Eyes and although this one’s more normal (well that’s debatable but it’s not fantasy anyway) it’s brilliant in its own genre. I read a few of these novels with a plot leaning towards this one but none that were written this way. Again, it felt different for me and so well-written I found it an outstanding novel.
Lisa and Marilyn are colleagues but also friends and if feels like there’s more that bonds them. I was sucked in. Both their stories are tragic, a horrible childhood and an abusive relationship won’t let your attention slip for a second and it was so well-written that it couldn’t be any other way then that they krept under my skin. I honestly thought I knew what each of the secrets was that they are trying to hide from each other but at least one of them left me completely thunderstruck at the end of Part One of the novel. In Part Two there are other new secrets waiting to be revealed 😊 The author made me feel even more sympathy for Lisa, even when it seems she doesn’t deserve it, at least some of the characters are not sympathetic towards her at all. I had to examine my own feelings here for a moment. Should I feel guilty, as some of her colleagues were trying to make me feel? Is she not the woman I came to know in the first pages, a sweet and loving yet somewhat overprotective mother for her daughter Ava? Lisa wasn’t the only questionable one though..
Who is the threat in this novel, leaving unsettling clues at Lisa’s house? I’ll make you a promise… you’ll never guess. And when you finally learn know who it is then there’s a whole new mystery about the reason why… Sarah Pinborough has so many twists and turns up her sleeve, I haven’t counted them but it’s seriously one of the reasons she’s now definitely one of my favourite authors and I want to read many more of her novels! The story has a definite emotional side to it, I loved how heartfelt it was and all of the mysteriousness of it made me race through it. I can’t wait to read her other novels!
I received a paperback copy of this novel from a lovely blogfriend. This is my honest opinion.