By Alice Feeney
Think you know the person you married? Think again…
Things have been wrong with Mr and Mrs Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.
Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts – paper, cotton, pottery, tin – and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.
Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.
The hook line for the synopsis is “think you know the person you married? Think again…”. That’s really the whole theme of this book. If you think you know what the story might be about, think again. If you think you know who the characters are, think again. All this ‘thinking again’ that happened while reading this book took me on one of the wildest rides I’ve had in a long time.
After reading a few paranormal books, I’d actually decided on some family drama for my next read. I probably should have looked for something lighter, to be honest. I thought this might be a little lighter, a little more thought-provoking, perhaps some gritty characters that look deep inside themselves to find their soul….yeah…that wasn’t this book.
In the beginning, it was a little slow. There was a nice hook to draw you in but when the letters start, it felt a little whiny. Both Adam and Amelia are really self-serving at this point in their marriage. Neither knows why they are still in it but they have this opportunity to make one last ditch effort after Amelia wins a free weekend at a getaway in Scotland.
As someone who’s been married for ten years and then divorced, there was a lot in the letters the wife wrote that resonated with me, right down to losing their baby. The emptiness and sadness that engulfed her was very real. The fading away of love and how comfortable two people can get in something that’s so completely broken, always grasping at straws and yet still able to somewhat sleep at night. The language between the two felt very tangible and very evident of a relationship destined to fail.
Then the fun started! The creepiness, the whispers, the eerie “housekeeper” who lived in the cottage down the lane…I couldn’t put it down and yet I didn’t want to read anymore. The twists and turns catapulting the reader to such an ending – every time I thought the story was over and I knew who everyone was and what they had done, there was one more chapter blowing my mind.
The resolution left me breathless and almost wanting more. It begs the question of how can these characters possibly trust anyone ever again and moreover, how can we as readers ever trust them again. I closed the book wondering who was the bad guy and who was the good guy. And then I reached for my own inhaler!
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