Two women meet by chance in an airport, both on the run from their former lives, and decide to swap identities and plane tickets in order to further obscure their trails. One plane crashes and the other doesn’t. This book examines both the fallout from the crash in Claire’s POV (the wife of the famous son of a famous politician, who is fleeing an abusive marriage to said famous son) and the six month lead-up to the crash in Eva’s POV (I won’t spoil what Eva does or why she’s running because that’s all in the narrative).
I liked this but it was not at all what I expected, and the marketing and blurb are very misleading! I’ve read many examples of what we might call the modern thriller, as this was being marketed, and this is really very much unlike most of them! If not all! Aside from the premise, which has a very thriller-like sensibility to it (identity swaps, women in peril, dangerous/two-faced men), this could have been (and maybe should have been) marketed as just plain old fiction. It had almost none of the classical markers of the modern thriller: there aren’t really any twists (not even last minute ones!), it’s not very fast-paced, and there is almost no action. Instead, we get two character-driven POVs that involve the identity-swapped women forming relationships with other women in their lives, and a low level of paranoia and suspense running throughout.
I think I ended up really liking it, but my expectations were so thrown by what the book actually ended up being, I’m not quite sure I’ve formed a firm opinion on it. I do know that what the author did with the premise turned out to be surprising, and not what I was expecting from it at all. I wonder if this extreme subversion of thriller tropes was on purpose, or if it really was the marketing?
Regardless, if it sounds at all interesting to you, check it out, just don’t go in expecting shock a minute reveals and upending twists.
[3.5 stars, rounded up]