Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds
She can't remember the last year. Her husband wants to keep it that way.
When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia - she's lost a whole year of memories.
A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?
She can't remember what she did - or what happened the night she fell.
But she's beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.
Slow, precise, intriguing, I was drawn in from the start, never sure where the author was going with the story, or who was to blame. But like life, nothing is ever straight and clear cut in this novel, and everyone has their share of the blame and everyone holds a portion of guilt close to their hearts.
The author cleverly and gradually brings the past in line with the present, and I like the way the reader sometimes gets a glimpse of what really happened when Jo is still in the dark, and sometimes doesn't, and on other occasions is led astray or is forced to guess or assume. And this continues right to the very last page.
A tale of obsession and love, the way Jo is controlled and manipulated is disturbingly compelling, and her relationships with her husband and her children are convoluted and complex, and in some scenes quite sad. Yet this isn't a dark story, and although a question or two remains unanswered, I didn't find that an issue - I found it refreshing!
About the Author
Amanda Reynolds is an author and creative writing tutor. Her debut novel, Close To Me, will be published in 2017 by Wildfire (a new imprint of Headline) as their first fiction title. She lives in the Cotswolds with her family and two very furry dogs.
Amanda has worked as a goat milker, a teaching assistant and a sales trainer. More recently she was the book reviewer for The Cheltonian and taught regular creative writing classes and workshops. She now writes full-time, taking a sabbatical from teaching to write her second book, another psychological suspense (due out in 2018).
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