Genre: Women’s Fiction
‘He’s dead and I’m safe, but I’m still scared. Sometimes I actually miss him, but then in the very next breath I find that I hate him so much that I hope there is a hell, just so that he can be suffering like he left me here to suffer.’
Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete.
But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.
Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost…shouldn’t she?
Rarely am I shocked by a twist in a non thriller/mystery novel as I tend to find them mostly predictable, likely due to the fact that I read so many books with amazing plot twists. Generally, enough hints are dropped that I can quickly figure things out without much effort. The cover calls the twist breathtaking and there is no more fitting description to be found.
I had already snagged this one from Netgalley when I read Payton’s compelling review, but man did she make me want to read this even more! She assured me that I would love it and boy was she ever right. So thanks Payton for the fantastic recommendation.
This is told from two perspectives, that of Olivia, a young mother who recently lost her husband, David and David’s mother, Ivy. There are references made to The Tragedy, which obviously refers to David’s death, but the details aren’t revealed until the very end. Olivia’s story is mostly told from the present though she reflects back on her marriage often, especially when she’s meeting with her grief counselor. Ivy’s story is told starting when David is born and leads all the way up until his death. It’s clear early on that David and Olivia’s marriage is full of dark secrets and that Ivy’s relationship with her son is….odd to say the least.
Olivia is a broken woman trying to pick up the pieces of her life after David’s death. She’s struggling to survive and the only thing that’s keeping her going is her baby daughter, Zoe. This may be a minor spoiler, but I don’t think it is as it’s revealed straight away, but David abused poor Olivia. Not only was he physically abusive, he was so manipulative it chilled my blood. It was so subtle that even I had to think about it at times and say, did he really just say/do that?!
I hated Ivy. HATED her. She has an unhealthy obsession with her son and refuses to believe that he could ever do any wrong. Like ever. Even as a young boy she convinced herself that everything was always someone else’s fault besides David’s and that he was literally perfect. She brings delusional to a whole new level and her lack of awareness made me sick. Even when she had small moments of doubt regarding David’s abhorrent behavior, she was quick to brush it off and blame it on someone else.
The character development, especially with Olivia, was phenomenal here. She starts off as a wounded and broken woman, but soon begins to take back her life and make a plan to at least try and be happy. I loved watching her have small victories and was mentally rooting her on the entire way.
As I mentioned earlier, the twist was unexpected and shocking, but it also shattered my heart into a million pieces and made me cry like a baby. I experienced such a wide range of emotions while reading this one. I was angry, empathetic, sad, disgusted and at times even happy. This was clearly an emotional read and one that will stay with me for awhile.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy.