I received a free review copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Lisa Jewell has always had the ability to create three dimensional characters – especially those of her heroines. The fact that the main female voice in this book is already dead doesn’t really impact on this at all.
At first, we hear ABOUT Maya and her part in David’s ‘perfect family’. Although made of three separate parts (due to his three marriages), David has apparently been able to maintain harmonious relationships with his two ex-wives, and his children from both. Neither of them have remarried, and the entire clan have lived in an obscure close-knit co-existence for many years.
David’s third wife, Maya, threw herself into being an integral part of this, accepting the strange arrangement, helping to arrange the ‘extended family’ holidays and devising a wall planner to ensure that nothing and noone was forgotten, and that David and herself were able to spend time with each of the children individually.
But, was all the ‘happy acceptance’ just for show – not just on Maya’s part, but for those that had been doing it for years? Who was sending the nasty, intimate emails with obvious inside-knowledge of the family?
This book gave me an interesting mix of liking and disliking the characters at the same time. They all seemed to be hiding something. I guess maybe a lot of people do, but it felt like the whole clan were living a lie of some kind. Of course that made interesting reading, but it also made some parts of the story that bit too unbelievable. The whole episode with Jane and her phone felt really convoluted to me.
It also meant that I ended up not really liking anyone, which was a shame. It’s always far harder to buy into a story when you don’t really care what happens to the characters. It is strange as they felt like ‘real’ people, and I ‘saw’ the story being acted out in my head very clearly but it was all just a little too far-fetched.
I think perhaps there were just far too many characters in the family – it made it difficult to have any real insight into any of them as the spotlight was too diluted.
However, it was a very easy read, had a kind of thriller aspect to it, which was unexpected, and certainly held my attention – a good ‘beach read’!