I’m not the biggest reader of thrillers, but my mother bought this for herself at a train station once, it looked interesting, so I “borrowed” it.
Helena Pelletier is a woman with a dark past, her mother was kidnapped by her father as a child and kept in a cabin somewhere deep in the Michigan Upper Peninsula’s marshes. For the first twelve years of Helena’s life, she has no contact to the outside world, only knows her controlling, sadistic father, her shellshocked mother and a bunch of old National Geographic magazines. 16 years later she is a mother herself and is confronted with her early upbringing, when her father escapes from prison.
The book is ok. I really like the pacing, the jumps back and forth in the story are very well chosen and there’s proper suspense built. The foreshadowing works very well too and I at least didn’t completely guess what had happened in the past. But there are a few moments, especially towards the end where SHOCKING drama happens, only for it to turn out that it didn’t happen after all in the next chapter and I found that very lazy on part of the otherwise skilled writer.
I have some issues with the main character too, she’s not very likeable, which is perfectly ok by me and also makes sense given her history; I understand her love for her father and her own sort of repressed trauma that’s at work here, but there were moments when I wanted to shake her and tell her “your mother was a raped child, stop blaming her!” That aspect works out in the end, but some others, especially regarding her own family, feel a bit uneven and unrealistic to me. Also HOW does no one recognise her? You cannot tell me that people in these rural areas do not gossip and that no one recognised her when she bought her grandparent’s land.
Then there’s that Native American aspect and I really can’t tell how I feel about it. Her father is half Ojibwe and raises her in the traditions of the tribe, it makes sense with the way they live, but her father is also a rapist nutjob and yeeeahhhhh… My conflict isn’t made lighter by the fact that this apparently will be turned into a movie this summer and they cast *drumroll* the very white Daisy Ridley in the main role.
I dunno, judge for yourselves. It’s a really solid thriller that will keep you engaged and touches some interesting, morally grey topics. But it has its problems too and yeah, the dog dies.