Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story.
The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.
But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.
Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.
This is one of those truly creepy books, where you’re never quite sure what’s going on, and who to believe. Kyra Leigh captures the air of paranoia well, and although Charlotte is clearly struggling more, you see the same unsettled feelings throughout Maddi’s chapters. At times, it felt like reading one of the grey toned, bleak feeling indie movies that were particularly popular a few years ago. Everything a little bit moody, confusing, but with the promise of an explosion waiting in the future.
The chapters are short, which is something I love. It means it’s one you can pick up and put down as and when you need to, and somehow, that normally means I read for longer. Both sister’s have their own chapters (although they are dominated by Charlotte), and their voices were always clear and distinct.
Personally, I knew nothing about the Lizzie Borden story beforehand. I think that might have aided my enjoyment, because I knew the gist of what was to come, but didn’t know anything about the build up to it. I did a lot of reading and researching after finishing, as I was super curious about how Lizzie’s story had translated here. Having done that reading, I think it’s a pretty good retelling and would also appeal to those that are familiar with Lizzie.
I did feel the book was a little strange at times. Some of the characters behaviour was just weird, and illogical. However, that was potentially intentional, and I did question how much of it was real and how much was just the sisters bizarre interpretation of it. For example, you can’t help but hate the dad. The things he does are really odd. But is that just the sisters seeing what wasn’t really there?! Basically, the book had me questioning everything.
Don’t expect an ending that paints a clear picture here. Whilst it’s heavily hinted, it is completely open to interpretation. Normally, I’m the kind of human that needs it spelled out, or I’m left frustrated. But I would say it works well, particularly when factoring in the links to the Lizzie Borden case. I didn’t get that urgent sense of needing a clearly defined ending, and enjoyed making up my own tale of what happened.
If you like a slow burning, creepy, psychological, unique read, then definitely check this one out. The short chapters are perfect to dip in and out of, but it had me hooked, just desperately needing to see when everything would blow up.
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. All thoughts are my own.
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