(3.5 / 5)
I liked this book. It has received wonderful reviews so far and I can understand why. It is extremely well written and has an engaging story and kept me turning the pages!
Heidi lives with her husband and pre-teenage daughter in Chicago. She starts witnessing what she believes to be a teenage girl on the train with a baby, braving the elements day after day with the same clothes on and comes to the conclusion that they are homeless. Being extremely charitable, she decides to help the woman who she now knows is named “Willow” and her infant daughter by letting them stay with her – Much to the disapproval of her husband and daughter. However all is not what it seems. Who is this “Willow” and where did she come from? And will she tear Heidi’s family apart?
I really enjoyed the layout of the book. Each chapter is told from one of three perspectives. Heidi, her husband Chris, or Willow. Willow’s story is by far the most interesting, as we gradually discover who she is and how she came to be staying with Heidi. Sometimes I find that the constant perspective changes annoys me in novels, but this was done seamlessly. If you came back to the book mid chapter there was no doubt about who you were reading about. The characterisation was so different between them all. There was no mistaking the energy and feel of the particular character who was narrating the chapter.
The characters themselves were all interesting and well imagined. I liked how the book didn’t have too many characters. The three chapter narrators were the major players. The secondary characters weaved into the story well. I especially liked Heidi’s daughter Zoe. I remember being a little like her at that age. Her neighbour Graham was also entertaining. The secondary characters in Willow’s story are terrifying, and her story is shocking!
I don’t know what it was about Heidi that I didn’t like right from the start. I loved how her character developed – especially in the last few chapters, but I found she bored me a bit. I know you are not necessarily supposed to like any character in a novel, but I assumed I would resonate with her a little more than I did, and I think it limited my enjoyment of the story.
Honestly at the end I found this book to be quite depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the twist and “character developments” at the conclusion. But I didn’t LOVE it. I can understand in a way that it is being compared to Gone Girl. I can see the similar dark undertone. However these are extremely different books. Funny enough I didn’t LOVE that one either.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it was definitely worth reading!! It was a page turner and a relatively quick, entertaining read!
Many thanks to Harlequin MIRA via NetGalley for the opportunity to read the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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