By: Gilly Macmillan
Kindle edition, 400 pages
Format: eBook from my local library
Dates read: 10 Oct 2019 – 14 Oct 2019
Seven-year-old Jocelyn loves her nanny more than her own mother.
When her nanny disappears one night, Jo never gets over the loss.
How could she vanish without saying goodbye?
Thirty years on, Jo is forced to return to her family home and confront her troubled relationship with her mother. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of the house, Jo begins to question everything.
Then an unexpected visitor knocks at the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again as, one by one, she discovers her childhood memories aren’t what they seemed.
What secrets was her nanny hiding – and what was she running away from? And can Jo trust what her mother tells her?
Sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.
I was so excited for this book to come out! It took forever to get a copy from my library and it was slowly eating me up inside lol. I loved the idea of this plot. Evil mother + disappearing nanny = pretty predictable plot, right? W – R – O – N – G!
This book had so many twists and turns that I could barely keep up at some points. The story is told via alternating characters and time periods either via Jocelyn – the main character, Virginia – her mother, Hannah – the nanny, and the Detective brought in to figure out the family secrets. It was easy to distinguish past vs. present timelines as the author used italicized font when a storyline was in the past. Each chapter header also has the name of the character whose viewpoint is being told in present time or the year if it is a story from the past which made it much easier to keep the timelines and characters straight as I was reading.
I was completely convinced I had this book figured out about halfway through but then Gilly Macmillan came through with the old bait and switch and completely threw me off. Nothing is what it seems. You will want to reach through the book and shake Jocelyn at times because everything seems so obvious and she seems so oblivious. This is a book filled with family drama and secrets set in a dark, dreary old English manor and with all the twists and turns, I guarantee you will want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next!
I know I’m not perfect, but I want to pass on to Ruby all that is good about me while I can and I want to do it before things happen that will sully her view of me. If the police do their job, it is not difficult to imagine such a time, and it could be very soon, when I shall disappoint and even horrify her.
A former art historian and photographer, Gilly studied at Bristol University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She lives in Bristol, UK, with her husband and three children.
Her first novel, WHAT SHE KNEW, was a Target pick, a LibraryReads pick, an Indie Next pick, an Edgar award nominee, and an International Thriller Writers award finalist.
Gilly’s novels have appeared on the New York Times, Sunday Times, Globe & Mail and Der Spiegel bestseller lists, been translated into over 20 languages and sold over one million copies worldwide. She’s been described as ‘one heck of a good writer’ (Wall Street Journal) and her novels have been praised as ‘nuanced, completely addictive’ (People), ‘riveting’ (Publishers Weekly), and ‘visceral, emotionally charged…heart-wrenchingly well told’ (The Daily Mail).
She is currently working on her sixth novel.
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