Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.
Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.
Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Claire is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.
One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac. Two sisters. One truth.
Alice and Clare were separated when they were young children, Alice going with her father to America and Clare staying in the UK with her mom. It’s a family split neither Clare nor her mother have ever really recovered from and Clare has tried more than once to find her sister to no avail. Then, one day, a letter arrives; Clare and Alice’s father has died and Alice is finally free to come home.
Initially excited, the fact that suddenly a grown woman who might be related by blood but is basically a stranger is visiting their home, makes Clare start to feel worried. Then Alice arrives and she starts to feel even worse. She doesn’t feel a connection with her long-lost sister. In fact, it’s the opposite – questioning everything Alice does and says to the point where it starts to drive a wedge between her, her mother, her husband and her daughters (who all think Alice is great).
As a reader, it was hard to know where the truth lies at first…but easy to imagine Clare is feeling put out by the attention her sister is getting. Told through her voice, which you can imagine getting increasingly “high pitched” as she tries to get people to see her point of view, I have to say it didn’t take long to figure out what is going on – though there were some twists at the end which I hadn’t seen coming in quite the way they did.
However, despite things not necessarily being a surprise, I enjoyed this book and found myself turning the pages pretty quickly. I thought it was well written and there were more than enough twists to keep me interested. Clare was a likeable central character, which always helps, so I was rooting for her all the way through. I just wish her family hadn’t been quite so clueless.
There were times when I wanted to leap through the pages and shake one or more of them because things seemed pretty obvious to me but I think the fact that I was that involved is a good thing. And the fact that I was able to forgive these things and a couple of leaps in logic shows that, at it’s core, this was a good book, one I like a lot and would definitely recommend.