My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I struggled with what to rate this book because I really liked it. It was a fascinating perspective: what happens to people who survive horrific events long after the news vans leave? How do they move on? Or can they ever do it, really?
But what bumped it down to 3 stars are some key issues, including he ending. More on that later.
The story centers on Amanda, who managed to prevent her mother from murdering one of her brothers, but was too late to save her youngest brother 10 years earlier. At the time, the family were members of a cult, which Amanda blames for pushing her mother over the edge. At the beginning of the novel, Amanda learns her mother has committed suicide in the psychiatric hospital she had been kept in since the murder. But then, Amanda finds evidence that there might be more to it than that. And then strange things start happening at work and in her personal life. She quickly realizes things are happening that may destroy the life she’s carefully constructed.
This book was good. I really, truly enjoyed the story. But once things started picking up and moving to the conclusion, it kind of fell apart. The ending was terribly rushed. Just over all at once. And with numerous, gaping plot holes that didn’t get fixed or resolved. I don’t want to give them away, but if love to chat with someone who’s read it to see what they think. Maybe I’m overthinking things.
The stuff that did get resolved was fairly easy to figure out. I don’t mind figuring out some things, but when the only “big reveals” are incredibly obvious, it’s frustrating. That’s why those other plot points need to be resolved too! To provide depth!
Also, I felt frustrated with Amanda. At the end of the novel, she was in the exact same place she was at the beginning: feeling obligated to support someone who did her numerous wrongs. She basically willingly traps herself in a cycle of never, ever moving on. But this I’m more forgiving of, because maybe that’s how it is with people who survive things like this. I can’t imagine being in her place. But more discussion of this may have been helpful. But again, the ending was rushed, so we didn’t get any discussion of these nuances.
Overall, this was a good book, but I was left feeling frustrated. With a little more development, this book could be great. Absolutely.
Proceed with caution.