One of my favorite kinds of novels – toxic couple tries to fix their marriage with an ill-advised trip.
Adam and Amelia are on an anniversary vacation that Amelia won in a raffle. It’s in an old chapel that was previously turned into a home. It’s on the shores of a Scottish loch. The nearby town is deserted.It’s snowing. And they are trapped.
Also, Adam has face-blindness, which just complicates things.
Things are already tense with the couple, and the mysterious experiences at the chapel aren’t helping.
In between details of their trip, we read pages from Adam’s wife’s journal that detail each year of their marriage. She writes a letter on their anniversary describing their last year together, and picks out a gift that goes along with the anniversary themes – paper for the first anniversary, cotton for the second, etc.
Alex is a struggling screenwriter who adapts other people’s work and makes a pretty good living. He eventually is able to adapt the books of his favorite author, and things turn around for the couple, allowing them to buy a beautiful home in an expensive part of London. That is where things start to go wrong, however.
Back in the chapel, the couple are watched by a local woman named Robin who seems to know more about them than she should.
This was a pretty good read. It’s very twisty and turny. And Adam’s prosopagnosia (face blindness), is an interesting plot device that’s used very well. I read this novel very quickly over Thanksgiving, and it was a welcome distraction from work, family, and life.