The whole “you never really know someone” trope seems to be prevalent in a lot of popular fiction. I tend to blame “Gone Girl” because after I read that book I quickly became knee deep in similar books. Not all have been as well written or have successfully navigated the twisty turns which are the nature of this particular beast, but they can generally make for a good read. This book falls into that category, but it’s a little less psychological thriller and a little more relationship mystery. It wasn’t on my radar until it was floated as the next book by my book club.
After Billie disappears on a hike and is presumed dead, her husband, Johnathan, and daughter, Olive, are struggling with her loss. Both are ill equipped to fill the hole that the free spirited and dynamic Billie has left in their lives. As the court date to officially declare Billie dead approaches, a year after her disappearance, both Olive and Jonathan begin to believe that she may still be alive.
For Olive, it becomes a quest to save her mother from whatever is keeping her from them. Jonathan, however, unearths information that points to a double life that Billie may have chosen to live instead of staying with her husband and daughter. As they both learn that the woman that they loved may not have been someone that they knew very well at all, each begins to discover a little bit about themselves.
I wasn’t wowed by it, but the characters were interesting enough to engage with. I could definitely see this as a good beach book. It’s light enough that you don’t have to hang on every word, and has enough intrigue to keep turning the pages.