Penguin September 2018
Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie’s world is torn apart.
The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.
And when Maggie begs to see her husband, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of their daughter’s funeral.
What really happened that day at the river?
Where has Maggie’s husband gone?
And why can’t she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?
My final holiday read (yes I am a bit behind on my reviews). This one was perfectly suitable insofar as it was an easy and engaging read. That said it’s subject matter is sad, dealing with the death of a child, so while easy, in terms of neither intricate or complex, it is by no means a light read.
The story is shrouded in mystery from the outset as we follow Maggie’s recovery from the tragic accident which killed her daughter. For Maggie her life has changed beyond recognition. Her husband is gone and her memory is broken – she cannot recall the circumstances in the lead up to the accident and she cannot understand what happened or why.
Written in the first person we accompany Maggie as she strives to rebuild her life. Interspersed through the book are letters from a daughter to her mother, their origin is a mystery which I thought I had solved early – I hadn’t, although I did finally work it out towards the end of the book.
This is a decent story and the concept is good. I must confess though there were aspects of the story that for me were not plausible and this left me feeling frustrated. Furthermore at times I found the writing a bit ‘waffley’ and the detail not relevant. That said my husband liked this book a lot and commented several times how sad it was so if you are looking for an accessible albeit sad, layered mystery you could consider this for your next read.
Thank you to Clair at Always Need More Books for passing on her copy of this book to me.
About the Author
Nuala Ellwood was chosen as one of the Observer’s ‘New Faces of Fiction 2017’ for her first thriller, the bestselling My Sister’s Bones. Nuala teaches Creative Writing at York St John University and lives in the city with her son.