TYPE: Mystery/Thriller, Women’s Fiction
ARC: Supplied by publisher and NetGalley
RELEASE DATE: July 11, 2017
AVAILABLE AT: Amazon
REVIEWED BY: 2shay
RATING: 3 Stars
A beautiful Berkeley mom with a radical past vanishes while hiking, leaving her family to piece together her secrets, in this keenly observed novel for readers of Emma Straub and Maria Semple—from the bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.
Review by 2shay……….
I have just recently discovered women’s fiction. An author friend encouraged me to try the genre, explaining the concept and potential drama of stories about women struggling with life choices and crooked paths. The first book I read in this genre knocked my socks off. This book had a lot to live up to, and didn’t quite get there.
Beautifully written, with great style, the story was a little too transparent. Told from the points of view of the husband, Jonathan, and the daughter, Olive, it explores the events leading up to the disappearance and supposed death of wife and mother, Sybilla.
Sybilla, known as Billy, is a piece of work. I can say with sincerity that I didn’t like her from the beginning. Her gentle taunts to her daughter, told in memories, implying that Olive was too ordinary, annoyed me to no end. Olive was a perfectly nice, well-adjusted young woman who was made to feel less than what her mother expected. I will cut Billy some slack because of her childhood, but not much. Most of what she revealed to her family and friends were half-truths or total lies.
Olive and Jonathan, on the other hand, were sweet, trusting and loving, never doubting Billy for a moment, until after her disappearance. Jonathan was completely in love with his wife, and Olive adored her mother. Lies are never a good idea, and they came back…HARD…to bite Billy in the butt.
I’m fascinated by the way a talented author couples words and phrases together to weave a compelling group of characters. The writing in this story is superb, with characters we begin to understand. The writing should be worth five enthusiastic stars, but, being a self-proclaimed story-slut, I couldn’t do it. The story was predictable. No surprises. If an engaging story is what you’re looking for, you might want to skip this one. If you’re satisfied reading beautiful prose, then you should pick up a copy and…