Wow. That was one ending I did not predict!
What a fabulous ride – twists and turns do not come anywhere near describing the devious path this book takes to tell its tale.
A dark and clammy story brimming with fear, fearlessness (is it a good thing? Is it possible? Is it overrated?) and obsession. A story of humans desparate to follow, and others desperate to lead – both types craving oblivion in the shared validation of a promise of something better.
This book blew me away – as I struggled to understand what I was reading, who these characters really were, deep inside, and what their experiences had done to them – the fascinating layers of childhood guilt, shame, powerlessness and fear that led to adult motivations that very well may have been worse than what their juvenile selves suffered first hand.
The story arcs around a pair of sisters, initially nine and twelve years old. Known only by nicknames, and with a story line we know to begin in the past. And what a story line it is! All I will say is these poor girls broke me, as I read their experiences with my heart in my mouth – terrified of what new nightmare might be just around the corner.
Alternating, in chapters sidled between, the reader is introduced to another set of sisters, this time, with a storyline in the present. Kit and Natalie, late twenties and early thirties respectively, have a fractured relationship that Kit is eager to repair, and it’s not immediately clear to the reader what secrets these sisters have yet to reveal to us.
As the book unfolds, tantalizing glimpses into how these two subplots connect flicker in and out of clarity. It’s maddening and addictive trying to keep the stories straight, while letting each shed light on the other. Kudos to the author, who pulls this off, with some pretty snazzy writing tricks up her sleeve!
At the end of it all, I absolutely loved this book, (and was frustrated, challenged, maddened, enraptured and enticed by it, all at the same time).
And that ending. All I can say is that I did not see it coming and it is TERRIFIC!
My unequivocal suggestion – read it!
I recommend this book highly to anyone who enjoys dark suspense, mind puzzles and the unpacking of human behavior (particularly the twisted and horrible.) Definitely one of the most uniquely compelling books I have read in a while, and one that is timely, for many reasons, that will become clearer as you read the book.
A great big thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.