Publisher: Lake Union
Evelyn Tester is sleepwalking through her suburban life—until a late-night phone call startles her awake. Her husband, a prestigious psychiatrist, has been in an accident. And he isn’t alone.
Suddenly Evelyn’s world isn’t as tidy as she thought. And in the midst of it all is Juliette, not only her husband’s secret lover but also his patient. If news of the affair were to get out, it would ruin more than just Evelyn’s marriage. Although it’s a bitter pill for Evelyn to swallow, protecting her family means staying silent—even if, as she begins to discover, the night of the accident has consequences far more dangerous than the unmasking of an affair.
But the more Evelyn learns about Juliette’s picture-perfect life—complete with a handsome, unsuspecting husband—the more she yearns for revenge…and satisfaction. Her growing obsession fuels her rage, burning away her complacency. What will be left of her after it flames out?
Told in alternating timelines, before and after, the entire story is from Evelyn’s perspective. Before starts immediately when the accident happens and after deals with the aftermath until everything finally merges together and there is one final chapter entitled now. I know many are sick of alternating timelines, but it really worked well here. The Evelyn from both was almost like reading about two different characters as she evolved and grew so much. You have a vague idea of what happened, but there are missing pieces, yet everything ties together and makes sense in the end.
Evelyn is caught in a monotonous life, and she doesn’t even realize that’s she unhappy until her husband’s accident. She’s a typical suburban mother who’s entire identity has been so wrapped up in being the perfect mother and wife that’s she’s totally lost track of herself. Plagued with self doubt and insecurities, she’s weak and doesn’t even realize she gave up all of her hopes and dreams to support her doctor husband, Gary and her bright and charming son, Cameron, until after the accident changes everything. Though there are many secondary characters that play important roles in this book, this is truly Evelyn’s story. She is a very well developed character and she undergoes a startling transformation by the end of the book. She’s wholly relatable and easy to like, even when she was behaving erratically I was rooting for her.
This is yet another one where I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that it was a very engrossing read. It’s on the shorter side too, so it can be read fairly fast. I’ve also seen some griping about the romance here, but I don’t see the problem. This isn’t a romantic love story, it’s full of lust, desire and obsession. I also felt it was an important part of Evelyn’s journey and it just made sense to the story.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Lake Union for my review copy.