Published: January 31, 2017
Format: Audio Book
This thriller alternates between the perspectives of two women, Adele and Louise. It also alternates between Adele’s past and present. Louise is a divorcee and single mother who begins an affair with her married boss, David. Soon after, she literally bumps into Adele, David’s wife, and they start a friendship. From Adele’s perspective, we know the the meeting was not mere coincidence. However, the reader is unsure what secrets lurk beneath the surface nor the reasons behind the forced meeting. Louise is charmed and won over by both Adele and David. Adele pleads with Louise to keep their friendship secret because David prefers to “compartmentalize” and Louise gladly agrees, as this allows her to spend time with both members of this couple whom she views as such wonderful creatures.
Despite the fact that Louise finds Adele and David to be so wonderfully charming, the reader (or at least me) found all three of the characters to be unlikeable. David appeared to be a shell of a person, making poor choices, hiding away secrets and drinking constantly. Adele appeared to be manipulative, two-faced, self-absorbed, and mentally unstable. Louise was perhaps the craziest of them all, having only accidentally stumbled into this couple and immediately getting wrapped up in their drama. She was an easy target, dishonest, easily manipulated, and having an affair with her so called best friend. She dropped Sophie, her best friend of years, after befriending Adelle and not liking the advice Sophie had given her regarding Louise’s relationships with this couple.
The story line and writing were ok, but not great. I was intrigued in the beginning, but found the story lacking in depth. Louise and Adele were so enraptured with David, however, I did not feel his character was developed enough to understand why. Yes, David felt trapped by Adele, but why feel it is his obligation to stay with her? I found it difficult to see how and why he felt he could control her, as repeatedly Adele proved he couldn’t. Then, when the thriller took a trip into the paranormal with it’s twists at the end, I really felt cheated of a normal ending. It felt like the author was writing this as if we should believe that type of thing is entirely possible. Many parts of this book, with both the coincidences and the choices the characters made required a leap of faith to accept. Then, to add a paranormal ending, for me, required tremendous suspension of reality. I know many people loved this book and the ending and it is one of the best selling books this year, but for me it was not great.
- Which of the three main characters did you like best? Did you find Adele or David more believable? Did this change as the novel progressed?
- How did you feel about the choices that Louise made? Could you justify to yourself why she was keeping up the charade and getting closer to both Adele and David?
- What were your suspicions about what the ending might be? Would you ever have imagined the ending that came? How did you feel about the ending?
- When Adele seems to know what is happening between David and Louise, what are your suspicions on how she is spying?
- There is a side story of Louise’s son Adam, Louise’s ex-husband and his pregnant girlfriend. What does this side story add to the novel?
- Adele is fixated on improving Louise. She gets her a gym membership and has her switch to e-cigarettes. Why did you imagine Adele was so invested in Louise?
- Adele teaches Louise how to use lucid dreaming to control her night terrors. This evolved into out of body experiences. How did you feel about this paranormal evolution on lucid dreaming within the context of the novel?
- The meaning of the title does not become apparent until the end of this novel. What did you think the meaning of the title was prior to getting to the end of the book?
- Would you recommend this novel to a friend? Why or why not?