Many thanks to Noelle Holten and publisher Bookouture for my spot on this Blog Tour.
A high school reunion and a death in the past were two most intriguing things that drew me in when I read the blurb. The book encompassed relationships and suspense.
3 friends Marlee, Emma, and Tessa were strangely connected due to Tessa’s nature of death. Emma saw something and kept quiet, Marlee knew something and kept quiet, and Tessa died, so she was already quiet.
An email brought it all out when Emma replied to all and wondered about Tessa’s death. Could it have been murder? That got everyone’s attention; everyone had snippets. There were other people like classmate Clementine, her mother Harriet, her uncle Jon, her stepfather Ben who played a central role in the book.
My first book by Sarah Clutton started with a ‘Reply All’ email from Emma, then showed me their lives as they were living it in the present time. Emma and Marlee were good friends through it all. With so many characters, it took me time to keep them straight.
The author slowly built up the plot with their routine lives and some of the drastic changes in their personal relationships. I got to know them well. The reunion occurred in the last few chapters when the book literally exploded.
The secrets were shocking, the tuns astounded me. A thought—What we humans did to protect each other—kept me grounded to the book. It was a jolly good ride with the need to know the truth building up and the author holding it away from me till the far end. The tug of war was strangely exhilarating, and I was hooked.
A good midnight read.
I received a free ARC from NetGalley and publisher, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!! STRICTLY HONEST AND UNBIASED.
All my reviews can be read here
Sarah Clutton is an Australian author and former lawyer whose debut novel, Good Little Liars, mixes suspense and domestic drama with nuanced characters. Having majored in psychology in her original degree, Sarah is fascinated by people.
Sarah’s work earned her the Dymocks/Fiona McIntosh Commercial Fiction Scholarship in 2018, a coveted national award run by one of Australia’s most successful commercial fiction authors and sponsored by Australia’s largest book chain. An alumna of the Australian Writers’ Centre novel writing course, and with a mostly-finished Master of Arts (Writing) that she has no interest in finishing because she prefers making stuff up.
Sarah lives with her family in the very pretty tourist town of Bowral, near Sydney. She has lived all over Australia, and if she didn’t live in Bowral, she would live in Hobart, the most beautiful city she knows.
Emma held the photo for a long moment before her eyes focused on the girl’s face. She dropped it and let out a muted cry.The girl in the photograph was Tessa.
Twenty-five years after losing her friend Tessa in a tragic accident, Emma’s life is happy and settled. She rarely thinks about the day that Tessa fell to her death, or the secret that she made Emma swear to keep just hours before. But when her marriage implodes, Emma and her daughter find themselves unexpectedly moving into the headmaster’s former cottage on the grounds of her old school – Denham House. And it’s here she finds the photograph: an explicit image of Tessa, looking directly at the camera.
Between catching up with old friends Marlee and Clementine, who are home for a reunion, and the demands of single parenthood, Emma has plenty to distract her… but she can’t shake the image of the photograph. Or the thought that it’s proof of something she had long suspected: Dr Brownley, now headmaster, was involved with Tessa. Was it a mistake to keep quiet about what she knew?
Marlee and Clementine have their own complex feelings about returning to their hometown. And when Emma starts to question what really happened to Tessa, each woman must deal with the consequences of decisions they made all those years ago. Because the more Emma digs into the past, the more she discovers that everyone remembers it differently, and that the innocent schoolgirls she thought she knew are hiding some very big secrets.
Publication Date: 2nd October 2019