What Goes Around is the story of two women – Ellen and Leila. Ellen is the ex-wife and Leila is the new woman, living in Ellen’s house, sleeping with Ellen’s husband. Each woman has her own secrets to keep. Leila’s brother is back in her life and is determined to rake up their past while Ellen is out for revenge. She wants her home back and she wants Leila to pay for breaking up her marriage. Her plan will make her do things she never thought herself capable of – but it will also put her in danger. Because Ellen has no idea what sort of a woman Leila is and when she finally finds out, it could already be too late…
One of the women will end up dead. But which one?
I have never read any Julie Corbin before but have heard great things about her books and I have to say they were no exaggeration. She is a great writer, creating in What Goes Around a tense story with interesting characters and plenty of twists and turns.
It starts pretty simply. Ellen’s husband has left her and, as a result, she is a mess. Living in rented accommodation and suffering from OCD, she spends most of her time afraid. The rest she seems to spend thinking about the b***h Leila, the woman who stole her husband. And the woman who is living in the house she pretty much built from the ground up and raised her wo children in. The woman who is destroying that house, making changes and making it her own.
Then when Ellen is looking for a therapist to help her with her anxiety, Leila is recommended to her and she can’t resist. She wants revenge and figures getting her foot in the door is the first step. The rest she’ll play by ear…but, bottom line, she wants Leila to pay.
Leila, meanwhile has problems of her own. She has a dark past, a son who is addicted to drugs and, if she’s completely honest, life with Tom (the husband/lover) isn’t quite what she thought. In theory, it should be. After fighting for everything in her life, she finally has everything she wants – a nice house, a rich, handsome husband, and a chance to work for herself. But being with Tom means being someone she isn’t. And this is harder to do when her estranged brother reappears demanding she revisits their childhood traumas.
For the reader, who slowly gets to know both characters and see just what is going through their minds in alternating chapters, it’s fascinating (or at least I thought so). Both women are so much more complex than they first appear, especially Leila, and I found my sympathies shifing back and forth as the book progressed. In the end, I’m not sure there is a “bad guy” (or woman) here. It’s just two women who don’t understand each other and are too wrapped up in their own lives to maybe care that much anyway about what the other is feeling.
Then you throw the brother in the mix and things really heat up. The tension rises when it becomes clear that he is dangerous. What isn’t clear is just how much so and what he will do to get his way and reconnect with Leila. Hints are dropped and as I reader I had to pick them up and put htem together. I managed to (yay me!) but it wasn’t easy. It was, though, a lot of fun.
My only niggle with this book is the epilogue. I have said it before I know but I am just not sure they are needed nine times out of ten. That was definitely the case here. I was completely satisfied with the ending and left with a few “what ifs” I could mull over in my own time. Then these were answered and I felt, if anything, a bit cheated and – because of that – it moved this book from a loved to a liked a lot, though still a recommended read.
Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.