Emma Walsh has finally had enough and is ready to confront her emotionally abusive husband James and serve him divorce papers. She’s ready to walk away from his excessive drinking and cruelty to her and their children. But he never shows up the night they agreed to meet for dinner before his company’s party. Later that evening, James comes home, accidentally accelerates into the back of the garage and gets crushed to death when the roof collapses on the car. The next few weeks are a revelation as Emma discovers that she didn’t know the half of her husband’s duplicity.
This story had quite a few layers, taking me down several different paths, especially as the points of view of Emma’s two best friends, Gray and Lizzie, were offered. Things got even more complex when Emma’s daughter Kelsey also added to this brew. The drama was real but not at all predictable, creating a morass of tangents that took a long time to untangle. In the middle of it all was the naive Emma who everyone seemed to want to be connected to and/or protect. Her doggedness to unravel the mysteries created by her late husband came as a surprise to everyone as they sought to find cover or delay things as long as they could. Confounding it all was the competition between Gray and Lizzie to be her first bestie.
I listened to the story and was thrilled that there were multiple narrators used for all the characters with a point of view. That helped provide clarity even though each chapter was preceded by their names. All did a commendable job of defining their characters, telling the story and moving things along. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on with the teens and Emma’s friends. My one criticism is how most everything was revealed near the end of the book. It would have been less frustrating if more had been served up gradually, though there were a couple of twists that deserved their place at the end. I loved the combination of family drama and psychological mysteries, which kept me hanging onto this story. I’m still a bit perplexed, though, about that epilogue. It would be a great topic for a book club discussion. What a ride!
- Release Date: February 22, 2022
- Narrators: Madeleine Maby, Erin deWard, Soneela Nankani, Rachanee Lumayno, Ali Andre Ali & Cary Hite
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 23 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)