Standalone or series
First time reading this author?
Why I picked this
The plot sounded a bit like the movie Single White Female.
Review copy or purchase
Thank you to the author, publishers Raven Books and online book club Pigeonhole for the chance to read this for free. This is an honest and voluntary review.
What it’s about
A woman living a seemingly perfect life makes friends with someone who could expose all the carefully hidden cracks.
Helen is happier than she has ever been. Living in her childhood home with her husband Daniel, best friends with her sister-in-law Serena, and Daniel running the family business with her brother Rory, and now happily anticipating the birth of her first child.
Yet, when we first meet her Helen is alone at antenatal class. Daniel is caught up at work, and Serena and Rory (who are also expecting) haven’t shown up to the class. So, when Rachel comes in to the class there’s nowhere to sit except beside Helen. Then she keeps bumping into Rachel. At first reluctant to connect with this young stranger, their shared experience of pregnancy, and the fact that she’s on her own so much, means Helen and Rachel end up spending a lot of time together.
Is their relationship healthy? Does Rachel have an ulterior motive for befriending Helen? Are things as happy as they look?
This is one of those odd books where I enjoyed the story without actually liking most of the characters in it. They’re all fairly self-absorbed, and Helen is so busy breaking personal boundaries with her sister-in-law as she copies every aspect of her home and even buys the same jewellery as her, that I had little sympathy with how fully Rachel inserts herself in to Helen’s life.
But, the central mystery of Rachel, pulled me in to the story. Who she is? Why she is there? What her intentions are? Pulled me in to the story. At times the plotting verges on the edge of becoming too complicated, particularly as we hear the competing descriptions of where people were on one key night described in the story, but successfully kept me engaged right up to the end. An interesting mystery.