About the Book:
“I have held you at night for ten years and I didn’t even know your name. We have a child together. A dog, a house.
Who are you?”
Emma loves her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby: she’d do anything for them. But almost everything she’s told them about herself is a lie.
And she might just have got away with it, if it weren’t for her husband’s job. Leo is an obituary writer; Emma a well-known marine biologist. When she suffers a serious illness, Leo copes by doing what he knows best – researching and writing about his wife’s life. But as he starts to unravel the truth, he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t really exist. Even her name isn’t real.
When the very darkest moments of Emma’s past finally emerge, she must somehow prove to Leo that she really is the woman he always thought she was . . .
But first, she must tell him about the other love of her life.
Enthralling! Dual narration was wonderful.
“The problem with lying to your husband is that it changes everything. And nothing.”
This slow-burn domestic thriller asks how well you really know the people closest to you. The book starts off with a unique premise: Leo is in the process of writing an advance version of his wife Emma’s obituary and unwittingly stumbles onto secret and secret and a possible past life.
It is standard practice for Leo’s newspaper to prepare obituaries in advance for famous people and celebrities in the event of their death. Emma was at one time a well-known television host of a nature documentary series and because of her recent battle with cancer, Leo is tasked with researching and writing her obituary. He doesn’t want to upset her so he begins his research without letting Emma know. His perfect marriage and life with his adorable daughter Ruby then begins to look like it was all a sham.
The dual narration here worked perfectly to reveal Leo’s and Emma’s memories and perceptions. Intertwined with their lives is the sudden disappearance of a famous actress, which I could not for the life of me guess how that was related to Leo and Emma! There are many red herrings here and the slow pace of the beginning pays off big in the end.
Because Emma continues to pretend that everything is okay, even when confronted with her many deceptions, Leo becomes rightfully angry and heartbroken at the same time. Everything he though he knew about his wife might be a lie.
I am glad I stayed with this audiobook because all my conclusions were completely wrong. Rosie Walsh did a masterful job at creating a layered and nuanced mystery with compassion, sympathy and heart. All of the early clues in this book were false and I was totally surprised at the end. Emma actually turns out to be an very likeable and sympathetic character who overcame a tragic time in her life and turned it all around.
This is an excellent follow-up to the author’s previous book ‘Ghosted’, which I loved. If you like slow-burn mystery mixed with a domestic thriller, you’ll love this one.