There seem to be a lot of books about neighbourhoods out there lately. This is about a group of young women who have a spontaneous girl’s night. Shortly thereafter, one of them, Kristin, disappeared with her two children. She was divorced, her husband had already moved out. Still, it looks like she’s packed and just drove away without telling anyone. Or should it just look like that?
The book takes a lot of time with its story. Although there are six women, only two are in focus: Clara and Izzy. Clara also has two small children and leads a harmonious marriage. Izzy is single and has fled to a small town due to personal problems.
This book is in its style close to „Big Little Lies“. It’s not so much a thriller, not a all a psycho thriller. It is a domestic drama. It’s about the two women and how they handle a girlfriend’s disappearance. The slow narration let me deeply immerse myself as a reader in both lives and easily empathize with them. The people seemed very real to me with all their mistakes. I was quickly drawn into the story and I could imagine that I could be friends with these women, too.
Although I enjoyed the slow and very sensitive narrative, I think that the book would have done a bit of streamlining. A little more pace could not have hurt. It was also a bit too much detailed description of an everyday life with small children for my taste. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter left me a bit helpless. But that’s complaining at a high level. Jessica Strawser wrote a very well written and constructed story and I enjoyed reading it.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
This was one of my most anticipated books from last year. I received it from NetGalley months ago but I wanted to read it closer to its publishing date and because I had so much other books to read. I’ve read so many raving reviews about it and its twists. So my expectations were high and that is not always a good thing.
Sometimes it is good to read reviews and know what you are expecting and sometimes you better avoid knowing too much about a book. Both apply to this book. I was glad that I read so many reviews which praised it twistiness because for the first 40% into it I was a bit disappointed. The pace was extremely slow and it felt like a mediocre psychological thriller. I must admit that I guessed the first twist. I can’t say why because that would be a spoiler. After that the story moved on faster and finally it griped me.
So, if I had not read all the frantic reviews, I maybe would have stopped reading. That was the good thing about knowing something about the book: that there was something going to happen. The other good thing is that I did not know much about the story itself and I will not tell anything about it neither. So I kept reading. I desperately wanted to know what the fuss was all about.
After finishing the book I understand why the first part was so slow. Everything was built up and we get to know the characters and what is going on, at least you think you know what’s going on. You think you know the story already: wife, cheating husband, mistress and drama. So the twist will come like a blow into your face. It is kind of a cheap trick how the author built this first part of the book. But it worked. So if you don’t see what the author has in stock for you it is a major surprise. And there are more surprises on the way.
What you get here is a well-crafted and twisted domestic drama. My only problems with it were that it started very slow and a bit dragging. I could also not connect to the female main character. I just think she was stupid. All the time until the end even all she went through. But as I said, after struggling my way through half of it I suddenly found it extremely gripping and could not stop reading.
Although I guessed the major twist and being only mildly surprised about the other turns I can say I enjoyed it. It held my attention not right from the beginning but it got better. The story was not as shocking or inventive as I expected but it was a fun read. I would recommend it to anybody who loves a twisted psychological thriller.
This was an easy and quick read and a real page-turner. I would not call it a psychological thriller. It is more a dark and twisted domestic drama and a romance gone wrong. There are a lot of psychological manipulations going on which made the read so entertaining.
I think I should not say too much about the story. I jumped into the book with not much of an idea of it and I that was good. At first I thought everything was going too smoothly for Amber and her aim to get between the married couple. But soon I sensed there was something else going on.
Envy, greed, betrayal, abuse, psychopaths – name it, you have it here in this book. It is a dark, twisted and disturbing story. I enjoyed reading it.