“A few seconds had left a mark that would last forever. Nothing would ever be the same again. Everything was still and terrifyingly silent, as my mind lay trapped inside my limp body. Maybe people were rushing to help, or maybe no one came. I don’t know. All I do know is at that moment I stopped fighting for my life. At that moment, I stopped being me.”
After a horrific car accident, Laura is trying to recover. She can no longer walk. She lost her unborn baby. Her husband, Mark, swears he still loves her, but is spending more and more time with their neighbor, Nicole, who seems to be more than happy to step into Laura’s role as wife and mother. Her best friend has decided to marry her horribly inappropriate boyfriend. Her kids are with her difficult mother-in-law and no one will let her see them. And her doctor keeps showing up to inject her with medications that fog her memory.
Slowly Laura comes to the realization that things are not what they seem. Terrified of her husband and Nicole, she flees Ireland with her best friend to the United States. But once there things start to unravel even further. What truly happened that day? What is the truth and what is the lie? And what is the memory that keeps trying to surface?
After Gillian Flynn, the Girl on the Train, and We Were Liars, I have become hooked on the “unreliable narrator” genre, where the reader doesn’t have the faintest clue what is going on. (I had no idea that Ashley Bell: A Novel, my last review, was the same type of book, but it fit right in). It makes it difficult to summarize, because the fun of these stories is to be swept along each twist and turn, trying to figure out what is real. The problem is that there is a lot of really, really bad unreliable narrator fiction out there looking to capitalize on its recent popularity. I have to say, out of several books I have read with this type of premise, this was the best one.
You won’t know what is going on in this book, and that is the fun of it. I was able to guess certain plot points but others caught me by surprise. The best part is that the end feels fairly authentic. Harris never puts herself in a position that she cannot eventually realistically, surprisingly, and sometimes heartwrenchingly pull her characters out of. I’m not sure this compares to Gone Girl, but I found it entertaining and it didn’t let me down at the end.