Tamia Challey has fought hard to get to where she is in life. She has worked hard at her career and gone against the wishes of her family to marry her husband, Scott. But she is happy with how things have turned out – that is until the day the police show up at her door to arrest Scott, in front of her two young daughters and with no explanation as to why. More terrifying still for Tamia is that her husband does not seem all that surprised by their arrival. When she discovers the truth behind his arrest – that he has been accused of attempted rape by none other than her best friend Mirabelle – Tamia starts to question everything and wonders whether she was ever really happy to begin with.
In The Rose Petal Beach, Dorothy Koomson has created a cast of characters all hiding so many secrets from themselves and each other that trying to figure out who is telling the truth is an impossibility. Every time you think you've figured it out, a proverbial spanner is thrown into the works and you begin to question everything all over again. With everyone telling her different stories, Tamia struggles to know who she should believe and as the back-story into her circle of friends widens, the plot thickens. As more and more supposed “truths” are revealed, she begins to quickly unravel and soon doubts her own actions as much as those of the people around her.
Koomson is a fantastic storyteller, weaving a complex plot that reveals itself only when good and ready. Tamia is a brilliantly flawed but fundamentally decent central character and the flashbacks to the origins of her relationship with Scott really add depth to their marriage and all that they have endured for the love they feel for each other. The only real negative of the book is the constant shift in perspective between Tamia and the other women in the story. It happens so frequently at parts that it can get quite jarring and this technique may be a turn-off for some readers. However, in Koomson's able hands, it is tolerable and offers a more balanced look at events as the story unfolds.
The Rose Petal Beach is a gripping page-turner and whodunnit that will keep readers guessing right to the end. It also provides a fascinating look into the female psyche and the extreme lengths some women will go to to be happy and find love.
9/10MORE ABOUT THE ROSE PETAL BEACH