Emily is happily married with a lovely son and seemingly has it all. So what makes her get up one morning and leave it all behind to start a new life alone in London? That is the premise for this novel and it really was a terrific read. I was immediately drawn into Emily’s world and that of her identical twin sister and it kept me reading long into the night.
Now anyone who has read reviews of this novel previously know that there is a twist in the tale. What IS it that makes Emily behave this way – and what is the date she is dreading? When I first sat down to pick up this book my aim was to work it out – I do love a good game of “beat the author” don’t you? However the story is so compelling and addictive that a few pages in I had forgotton all about that and was deep into Emily’s London life and the amazingly well imagined characters that she meets along the way. Through flashback we learn something of her past and that of others and so the story pulls you along, immersing you deeper into the lives of these characters and I would say even if that was all you got from this book it would be plenty good enough.
However, here we go. As I moved along through the novel, towards the end I suddenly remembered that something was coming. At this stage I DID have a go at “beat the author”. I reviewed in my head all the steps Emily had taken, all the information the author had given, and I had a go at deciding what was what. I mean you have to try don’t you? Then I read on, eager to find out what happens ultimately to Emily and those around her. Was I right? Well the book blurb says “No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?” The answer to that is a resounding NO. I didnt. I was floored. It happens to me sometimes – the last book to make my jaw drop in such a brilliant way was Erin Kelly’s “The Burning Air”. I thought I’d never find an author as clever as that – but here is Ms Seskis with her vivid and imaginative writing – sucking me in, making me think I was clever and then realising that I’m not half as clever as I think I am.
This is an extremely well written novel, not just because of the twist, but generally speaking. As I said earlier, although the twist in the tale is great, the STORY is terrific even if it didnt ultimately have that head in hands moment. The characters practically leap off the page – not only Emily but pretty much all of them. Her twin is compelling and I ADORED Angel – would that we all had a friend like her. Its an emotional read in places – Emily struggles with her new life and you will feel it all right along with her – and it is a story of redemption. I love those. I loved this. I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway so thank you kindly to Tina Seskis for sending it to me. Her next novel, A Serpentine Affair, is out later this year and trust me – I’m going to be the very first in the queue. FIRST I tell you. Back off!