I received a copy from Netgalley.
The premise of this one caught my attention and made me want to request it. A girl’s identity is called into question when she finds her name is on a record of deceased people. With an alternate story of a woman’s decision some 20 odd years ago that might be the cause of it.
For the most part, this was actually a pretty good book. Jessie Sloane has lived with her single mom her whole life then mom gets sick and dies. Jessie has spent most of her life caring for her. She suffers from terrible insomnia which plagues her for days at a time during this difficult period.
I liked Jessie as a character, she was tough and seemed fairly smart and logical given her terrible circumstances. She knew how to look after herself. Applying to college for financial aid she discovers Jessica Sloane is deceased. Bringing on a whole host of panic and desperate search for answers as to what the hell her mom was hiding and where it all went wrong and how could she have never known this before?
The second story line follows Eden and her husband Aaron. The one thing Eden wants more than anything is a baby, but Eden seems to be unable to conceive. Which puts a huge strain, both emotional and financial on what was otherwise a perfect relationship.
Eden’s story was hard for me to relate to, as a woman who has no interest in rearing children, her obsession was just something I couldn’t get my head around as a reader. Yet as the novel progressed and Eden’s chapters went on I did find myself empathising with her. No matter what this poor woman tried nothing was working. And her best friend who came to visit has two or three noisy children she always brings with her and is pregnant again. It was heart-breaking for Eden. But as things go on and get more difficult Eden’s desire for a child becomes all consuming. She works at a hospital and is often going to the new baby ward. She drops hints that she did something terrible and it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. At least that’s what the story seems to want you to think, anyway.
Meanwhile Jessie is struggling to find out what happened and why “Jessica Sloane” is deceased. And how did she get this girl’s social security number? Made worse and worse by the fact that she just can’t sleep and her mind is going round in circles. She doesn’t know what’s real or what’s not anymore. It’s all pretty compelling stuff. And definitely becomes a page turner.
This is a huge spoiler but it pissed me off so much and ruined the whole book for me and I need to rant about it.
It gets to the point where Jessie can’t cope anymore and you start thinking dear god what else can go wrong for this poor girl, how is this ever going end? And then the book does what every English teacher told me in school was the poorest way you could end a novel ever. “And then I woke up and it was all a dream!” At the start of the novel Jessie is with her mother in the hospital on her death bed. She won’t leave her mother’s side and has been there for days. A kind doctor gives her something to help her sleep. Understandable. But then the combination of stress and drugs give Jessie this epic nightmare. And that’s all it was. A nightmare.
I mean…for fuck’s sake. All of that…all of that and to have it ruined with that. It just felt like such a huge let down for what was otherwise a really good book. The truth about Eden’s story is revealed as well, and thankfully that wasn’t as infuriating. It actually turned out to be nothing like what I thought it would be.
Great potential but ruined by a rubbish twist. The end itself wasn’t that bad, really. But that twist just pissed me off so much.
Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for approving my request to view the title.