Rating: 2/4 stars
Author: Renee Knight
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
What would you do if your deepest secret of 20 years was exposed to the people that you love, the people that you were trying to protect. Catherine wakes up to find a book in her home, a book that she never purchased. As she begins to read it, she realizes that this story is about her. Her world shortly falls apart and Catherine must fight to keep those she loves with her. This novel will make everyone question how well do you really know those you love.
I received this book while I was still working in publishing. It has been on my shelf for quite some time. I thought it was time to break it out. The cover describes it as a psychological thriller, but I didn’t think so. It didn’t have the level of suspense that would I have expected of a thriller. I found that to be a letdown. I also found it hard to make any connection with the characters. I never had a sense of who they were. I also didn’t enjoy the ending. It almost seemed as if the author was in a hurry to finish the novel. There was such a big build up to figure out the secret and once it was told everyone seemed to be so quick to believe her story of events that it all simply ended abruptly. I also felt as if the book took a while to get to the secret as well. Due to my lack of connection with the characters, I found the middle to drag because I didn’t understand any of the motives. Any malice that occurred seemed to sudden and unexpected that I was confused trying to figure out the story behind the characters. The author tried to wrap the motives up in the end, but not for all the characters which left me with more questions.
Although there were quite a few large components that I did not enjoy about this book, I did like where the author was trying to go with the main character Catherine. For one thing she showed that not all women desire motherhood. It was brought up on numerous occasions how Catherine was not motherly. The way her husband and others viewed her because of her lack of desire to be a mother or relate to her son shows a societal perception that women need to be motherly. Women should be satisfied staying home with the kids. Catherine seemed to be punished for her lack of desire to do such things. There was much blame placed on Catherine as well. When the secret was revealed, not from Catherine’s perspective, the men of the story were quick to blame her. They refused to listen to her side of the story. As often seen in society, the women are at fault. Those who hold less power are continuously blamed and held to the stereotypes of society. Catherine was victim of a sexist society. I find this element of the book to be a redeeming quality. The author was attempting to make a statement about society and the way women are viewed.
All in all, I don’t know if I would recommend this book. After reading it I looked up other reviews to see if I was alone in my feelings. There seemed to be a pretty even mix of those who loved it and those who hated it. If interested in reading it, I would recommend taking it out of the library and save your money.