Emma is consumed by her life as a mother and wife. With one small child and another on the way she decided to stay at home, but her husband’s job is insecure and they can’t afford to do things they used to do before children. Emma has trouble believing that her life now revolves around cleaning up the debris after meals, the never ending cycle of laundry and picking up the toys that somehow scatter and multiply throughout the house. Then one day a stranger, with a kind gesture, insinuates herself into Emma’s life. Nina is everything Emma is not: confident, sophisticated, organized, calm and never shows up with baby cereal crusted hard on her sweater! Somehow it is this stark contrast that draws Emma to Nina.
Nina can’t believe that it is her, she sees on the street one summer morning. She is almost certain it is Emma and wonders, “Is your life the one that you were due?” In the fall, when their paths cross again, Nina sees a chance and takes it, lifting Emma’s wallet from her bag while she is distracted with her child. With the information in the wallet she now knows where Emma lives and makes contact by acting like she found the wallet on the street and wants to return it. After that, it was incredibly easy.
This is one of the most creepy psychological thrillers I have read in a long time! Lane is incredibly gifted in fully realizing her characters. Both Emma and Nina seem like people you have known or could know. Emma, especially, is someone you identify with, especially if you have had children and know the feeling of having your identity completely subsumed by their endless needs and demands. Nina, is also someone we can identify with: the perfectionist, the one who is always in control, who manages everything with seeming ease and maybe that is why this book has gotten such mixed reviews. We all know someone like Nina, but to slowly see her underlying pathology revealed feeds into our most basic fears and suspicions, and we react negatively towards the book as a protective response. The pacing of the book seems a bit slow at times but that just makes the suspense even more taunt as you get to the end. And then the end…well I will say no more. Read it and let me know what you think!
Brenda’s Rating: **** (4 Stars out of 5)
Reccomend this book to: Sharon. Marian and Lauren
Book Study Worthy: Yes
Read in ebook format.