2019: Julianne is preparing a family dinner when her son comes to her and says he’s found something on his iPad. Something so terrible, it will turn Julianne’s world into a nightmare and make her question everything about her marriage and what type of man her husband is or is pretending to be.
1990: Holly is a fresher student at Oxford University. Out of her depth and nervous about her surroundings, she falls into an uneasy friendship with a group of older students from the upper echelons of society and begins to develop feelings for one in particular. He’s confident, quiet, attractive and seems to like her too. But as the year progresses, her friends’ behaviour grows steadily more disconcerting and Holly begins to realise she might just be a disposable pawn in a very sinister game.
A devastating secret has simmered beneath the surface for over twenty-five years. Now it’s time to discover the truth. But what if you’re afraid of what you might find?
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*** 3 Star Review ***
I have struggled with my thoughts on this book since I finished it. It's such an intriguing book. It's a heavy book. In a way, I can see (kind of, but not really) why people had a hard time reading it. It definitely doesn't fluff over "sensitive" subjects and how demeaning people are. No sugar coating with this book. In that aspect, kudos to this author.
This book goes back and forth between two time periods... what happened in the past that lead to where things are in present day. I admit I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where things were going to go and why the different characters. It was all revealed as the stories played out. The slow build to the real issues was wonderful. It kept me on my toes. I was right there with the story...
I will divulge that even though we get quite a bit of insight to these characters, I had a hard time connecting to them. Maybe it's because of who they are, how they act. They are the complete opposite of me. It's hard to connect to things you aren't or don't necessarily want to know. I am not sure what the cause of the disconnect with these characters is, but there was one for me.
I am sitting here trying to figure out how to convey where the story fell apart for me. I don't want to spoil it for others who plan to read this. It was definitely the big ending. I was so disappointed. There was this HUGE build up. This rage the author creates within his reader. The need for revenge and karma. And then that's the ending? I felt ripped off. I felt duped. I felt it completely took away everything that happened in the book in one fell, disappointing swoop. I won't lie. That ending completely ruined the entire book.
Would I recommend this book? Maybe. If you can look past the weak, dissatisfying ending and can stomach some brash subjects, I would suggest reading this one. The rest of the book was pretty darn good.