My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is one of those mixed feelings kind of stories for me. I liked as much of it as I didn’t like. The general premise was interesting and I really enjoyed the tense family drama that revolved around money and power. The story opening on a mass murder was also a huge draw that instantly pulled me in. To be honest though the story was a bit all over the place the rest of the way and the ending felt a little rushed.
Overall I did enjoy it and it was well worth the read.
Full Review with Spoilers
This book has a fantastic opening that hooks you instantly. We come into the story after a mass murder and the only survivor, Gwendolyn, is in a coma. She spends the book trying to piece together in her mind what lead to her sister Estella poisoning everyone they know at their grandfather’s birthday party.
The concept is so interesting. I really liked learning what kind of life Gwendolyn lead, what her family was like and what kind of relationship she had with her sister. There was so much family drama. Power and money are the big driving factors of everything in this book. I admit though, there were times I would start to get a little lost. There was a lot of Gwendolyn remembering things while remembering things. At times I was never quite sure exactly where in the grand scheme of things we were. Despite that though everything she was remembering was interesting and there were so many shocking or uncomfortable moments that really make you thinking about what people will do to keep what they have. You start to realize there was never one singular incident that tipped Estella over the edge, but her entire life was the root of the problem.
The twist ending also happened a bit to suddenly for my taste. The entire book is constant build up then completely out of know where we find out that half of the things we read in the book aren’t real and that Gwendolyn doesn’t exist. She is just a part of Estella she created as a way of escaping her life. This felt like hitting a brick wall because we suddenly learn this and the book is done. It was quite a surprise though and not something I had anticipated at all.
I do think this was a good read and well worth the time, even if I was a bit lost in places.
Thanks to Pushkin Press who provided a copy in exchange for an honest review.