Top positive review
There's no such thing as a perfect family!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 15, 2020
This novel starts off with a reporter interviewing the Rossi family for the local newspaper because Daniel, the son, is quite the tennis player. As we explore the relationships between family members, it quickly becomes clear that there are some troubling things going on with Emily & Eric’s marriage. Eric works in London during the week & comes home weekends while Emily is with the kids & working as a college professor. I liked the storyline of Emily & her student who seems to think he’s entitled to special privileges. When Emily doesn’t bow to his demands, he makes trouble for her, causing her to be suspended while her case is investigated.
In London, Eric is drinking excessively & recalling events from 2004 where he was approached by a woman in what appears to be a Fatal Attraction situation. He took the position in London to escape this woman who has an obsession with him. He hasn’t been able to convince her that she’s made a mistake & there never was anything between them. Eric has kept this from Emily.
The teenage daughter, Zara, is an annoying insecure adolescent. She’s at the stage of development where she’s vulnerable because she really wants to fit in & be accepted. This leaves her ripe for making unstable friendships & putting herself in risky situations. She hasn’t found her way, yet, & is easily influenced. So, when she makes friends with a young woman who is the epitome of who you don’t want your teen to emulate, Emily realizes there’s trouble brewing. IMHO, Emily is doing the best she can to help Zara. Zara is petulant & spoiled. And annoying. Did I say annoying, yet? That she is.
Lo & behold, this girl is the daughter of Eric’s stalker. So things are starting to fall into place. Emily has no idea what Eric has gone through or that the woman is obsessed with Emily & her life. I’m trying not to give anything away because it’s fun to make discoveries as the pieces tie together.
Some characters weren’t developed as fully as they could’ve been. I would’ve liked more insight & background of the obsessive mother & her wayward daughter. Emily’s best friend doesn’t add a lot to the story but much of their interactions plays into the storyline so she is necessary.
The story does come to a satisfying end. The loose pieces are all tied up & I liked the ending. There is a lot of profanity, some violence & sexual situations that make this inappropriate for teens or younger.
**Spoiler alert** from here on so if you decide to get this book, which I do recommend, then don’t read the rest of my review.
I don’t want to give away any key points to the story because part of the fun of this novel is guessing how it all ties together. Did Eric really have an encounter with this woman or is she mentally ill? I thought it all came together pretty well except for a woman giving both of her daughters the same name. Sure, one died but it still is the name of her first-born daughter. To then give it to her second daughter because she likes it isn’t realistic. That’s just my opinion but as someone who has a stillborn grandson, we refer to our little guy by his name. No one else in the family has his name. It’s his & is his alone. To name another child the same thing seems disrespectful & unfair to both children. Also, it is convenient that the bad girl ends up dead. When Emily comes upon her when she’s dying & sees her stolen jewelry, did she take her jewelry back or just leave the house? There’s nothing more about it although they’re important to Emily.