Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Why I Read This: Sarah Pinborough’s last book, Behind Her Eyes, was wildly entertaining with an ending I never saw coming. I was all too happy to pick up her next. Thank you to TLC Book Tours for the free copy and for having me on the book tour!
Page Count: 352
Synopsis: From Amazon- Lisa is living a lie and everyone is about to find out.
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.
But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa's world explodes.
As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it's up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear.
But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer.
Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren't meant to be broken.
Opening Sentence: "Bitch”.
My Thoughts: The book starts en media res- someone is pissed. It seems like a woman has left her man and took their baby with her. At first, I was dreading reading another story about a brutal husband antagonizing his wife until she breaks- but happily, this story turned into so much more.
Lisa and Ava have a unique relationship. They’re on their own and Lisa is slowly learning to let go of some of the control she has over Ava’s life- after all, she’s 16 and has to figure out some things on her own. Ava is interested in the “normal’ 16 year old things- boys, sports, and her friends. She loves her mom but her over protectiveness is starting to wear thin.
Their story is told from three viewpoints- Ava, the daughter, Lisa, the mother, and Marilyn, Lisa’s best (and only) friend. It’s clear that Lisa has gone through some trauma and we find out that she’s got some quirks besides being overprotective- she consistently thinks about a young boy that is no longer in her life, has few friends, and keeps to herself. Still, her work life is a success and she’s slowly starting to branch out- even going so far as to agreeing to a date with a successful client.
Part 1 was a slow burn, but the action ramps up by Part 2. We find out that Ava has been covertly Facebook messing an older man. Soon, they’ll meet. That is, until Ava rescues a young boy from drowning, and the photo in the paper changes their lives forever.
By Part Two, we are thrown into Lisa’s truth. It’s a story that unravels everything she’s been working so hard to build. The author plays with time and goes back to Lisa’s childhood, and we find out who she was growing up and about the events that led to her restrained present.
I loved this book. The three characters were so realistic and I found myself rooting for them, flaws and all. It’s a story about redemption and motherhood, the choices we make and those that are thrust upon us. I loved the strong women and feminist undertone. There are a couple of twists in this story, but they were the best kind. There were bread crumbs trickled throughout the story, so that when the twists were revealed they weren’t so out of left field so as to be unbelievable (don’t worry- no Behind Her Eyes ending with this one).
If you like British thrillers or enjoyed the author’s last book but could have done without the supernatural element, then I highly recommend this. It’s landed itself on my “best of the year” top ten list and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next.
Read Alike: I Let You Go
Quote: “‘Ah.’ His eyes are full of quiet interrogation. Marriage, divorce, Ava’s dad, other boyfriends- all the information men are interested in. Things that boil down a woman’s relevance in relation to other men, rather than anything in and of themselves.”
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