I’m so pleased I finally got around to reading this- I met Ali at a reading back in January, but didn’t buy the book for a while (I’d forgotten my purse, d’oh.) Anyway, I recently picked it up from my bookshelves as part of my book buying ban bid to bust the TBR pile. My word, it’s good. Creepy, unpredictable and unnerving, it’s a great read if you like your novels twisty.
After a horrifying childhood, teenager Milly finds herself in a seemingly comfortable foster family, preparing for a trial in which she will have to testify against her mother. However, nothing is as it seems and everybody has darkness lurking beneath the glossy images they project to the world. Milly is a fascinating protagonist; sympathetic yet menacing, we really never know what she’s thinking- and neither does anyone else.
I found myself uncomfortable as I read, but unable to put the book down. It’s not a thriller in the mould of many recent novels (you know the ones- the next ‘Girl on the Train’ etc.) This is more menacing because it shines a light on how different the reality of all our lives are as soon as the front door closes behind us, as well as the complexity of the teenage psyche, especially that of vulnerable young adults. Before she was a novelist, Land used to work with children who had similar issues, which makes Milly all the more heartbreaking and terrifying.
This is a novel to read with a glass of wine, a locked door… and a healthy dose of suspicion about just who you let into your home.