‘I am here because they suspect me of something. I am here because I am a suspect. I know that, she knows that. Everyone knows that.’ Anna
‘It wasn’t my fault. None of this is my fault!’ Caro
Caro and Anna are best friends… they were best friends. Over a decade, Caro and Anna have bonded while raising their daughters, two little girls the same age but living two very different lives. The women have supported each other as they have shared the joys and trials of motherhood, but now everything has changed.
There’s been a terrible car accident, an unimaginable tragedy that leaves both families devastated. Over two days as Caro and Anna each detail their own versions of events, they are forced to reveal hidden truths and closely guarded secrets.
The complicated lives of wives and mothers are laid bare as both women come to realise that even best friends don’t tell each other everything. And when hearts are broken, even best friends need someone to blame.
Reading the blurb for Blame it sounded like my type of book. Two friends, a tragedy, secrets and lies. What could be better? Not much where this book is concerned, especially given how unexpectedly emotional it was too. It is well written, well plotted and has a clever way of letting the story unfold that drew me in from the first page.
It starts with Anna going to the police station. Her daughter is dead, killed by her best friend Caro in what sounds like a tragic accident. Only she and Caro were there and police want to understand what happened. It seems simple enough – so why is Anna so nervous and why is she telling herself to stay calm and stick to her story? It’s a story Caro, who is in the interview room next door, tells differently. Yet it’s one she is convinced no one will believe.
With each chapter alternating between their two witness statements a much more complicated story than it initially appears to be is told. For Caro and Anna life hasn’t turned out as they planned and it has all culminated here. As I came to understand this, I started to feel for them. I also started to wonder just where the truth lay. Needing to find this out kept me turning the pages. As I did I went back and forth, first blaming one character then the other as their actions were revealed, both by their friend but also by themselves as they each seemed to realise that the truth was easier to tell than the lies they had been.
The police who took their statements, the husbands who tried to support them, were catalysts and so not fully formed (though they were detailed enough that I didn’t feel something was missing). You see them only through Anna and Caro’s eye. Both women were really well drawn though. I could picture them in my minds eye and they felt very real for me. Human, which is what this story was, and why it was more emotional than I thought. It wasn’t just about secrets it was about honesty and misunderstandings, friendship and love, fear and pain. It is why I enjoyed it so much and why I would say it’s a recommended read – loved it!
note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.
I’m not a big fan of this kind of family tragedy but the alternating chapters and the obviousness that something is very not right definitely have me curious. While not my normal read it sounds like a good one and one I’ll have to look for!
I’m not either but this is great. It pulls at the heart string but not too cynically. I just found it so compelling.
I just finished reading this too and you’re right — it’s a very human, tragic story. It made me question myself as well, and what I would do in Anna’s position and I still don’t know.
No I don’t know either. I think I think I’d be strong and positive but the reality is I probably would be just as tightly wound.
I’m glad you enjoyed this. I did as well… loved the way the women’s lives and stories unfolded!
I really did. I think how everything came out was so well done.
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