My rating: 3 of 5 stars
So I want to start off by saying that I liked this book. I’m glad I stuck with it, didn’t listen to the negative reviews. But I understand where they come from.
First things first: one of the main storylines involves a violent sexual assault. Readers should be aware.
The story is good and has potential, lots of it: Dahlia is a woman who has come back to her hometown (or at least the place she lived the longest with her eccentric mother) to care for said mother and finally hear the truth about her past. Then, Dahlia stumbles upon a woman, badly beaten, in the woods. And her mother begins acting stranger than normal. All of it is connected, if Dahlia can only figure out how.
The issue with the story is that it’s like an airplane that doesn’t quite take off. Every time the story gets going, any time there’s a big reveal, the author drops it and move onto another thread. Or starts a new chapter from a different perspective in a completely different place. Its hard to stay excited with that happening.
Also, it’s hard to connect with the characters. They’re so “eccentric” that they’re aloof, really. I couldn’t get a good read on them or their motivations. Like how Dahlia just accepts that she’ll never be more than an under-the-table hotel maid. Just like that. It’s hard to understand.
But the story did keep my interest. You can tell everything’s connected somehow, and I did want to find out. I just didn’t feel desperate to know, like with other mysteries.
I think this book is really miscast as a thriller, when it’s more a drama. Maybe knowing some of that going in, people would understand it better. I might have had less of a “thriller” expectation, and understood that it would be slower paced.
I would say if you have the time and patience to read a good family drama, this would be a good book. It’s going to take a little bit to get into it. But it will turn out enjoyable if you stick with it. Trust me.
If you’re looking for a nice, tight thriller, skip it.