My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
So this is possibly one of the shortest blurbs in the history of blurbs – and completely intrigued me as a result. Add to that some positive reviews and I felt like this was a book I really wanted to read.
The first few chapters had me convinced I’d made the right choice and things only got better from there I have to say, especially with some great twists in the last third which pretty much turned everything I had been thinking on it’s head.
It starts with Amber, lying in a hospital bed after a near fatal car crash. She can hear what is going on around her but has no way of letting the nurses or her family who visit her know. Given the secrets they all seem to be keeping, this might not be a bad thing because the truth seems destined to tear them all apart. Or at least Amber’s version of it as it slowly unfolds, with chapters moving between past and present.
Amber is a strange character. I really couldn’t say I liked her but I didn’t dislike her. I found her interesting; she suffers from anxiety and has OCD and seems to be making some strange choices as a result (though some of these are later revealed to be not that strange after all). I also felt pretty ambiguous about the two other central characters – Paul (the husband) and Claire (the sister).
Their behaviours made me think I shouldn’t be liking them but Amber’s anxiety made me wonder if her view of them was real, if maybe they weren’t what they seemed and so I kept giving them another chance. Because they are seen only through Amber’s eyes, it is really hard to know what was real and what wasn’t and if they were scheming behind her back or just misunderstood.
Even by the end, I wasn’t quite sure where the truth lay – and I liked that (so often, now, I feel like everything is laid bare when leaving a little to the imagination is never a bad thing in my book). That Alice Feeney could do that without leaving me cheated is, I think, the sign of a good storyteller. And this is a really good story, one I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked this one a lot and would say it’s a recommended read.