Reviewed by Cesca Martin
It’s a great opening chapter - anonymous girl talking to anonymous person on top of building and she then… falls. Anna, the charismatic older sister of Lizzie, is dead and her family are living out their grief under one roof. Her mother, Kate, spends hours locked away capturing Anna’s face on canvas, Lizzie plunges deeper into school life and Jon, her father, just tries to keep the show on the road. As Lizzie tries to grow up and move on, a devastating revelation shocks them all to the core and more questions about how and why Anna died resurface. Will they finally be able to let Anna rest in peace, or will there just be more questions?
I was thoroughly absorbed in this book from the debut novelist, Amanda Jennings. I loved the chapters written from the different characters' perspectives and for me there was no “weak link” – a character you just wanted to skirt over. It was pacey, gripping and at times genuinely shocking. The dialogue was realistic and well-written and the novel flowed wonderfully.
This book was so nearly a perfect read but I’m afraid the end somewhat put a dampener on it for me. I don’t want to ruin any surprises but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed when I closed the final page. I was frantically racing to get there however, and this is an enormously enjoyable read with so much to recommend it. Any fans of Jodi Picoult (see our review here), Hannah Richell (Secret of the Tides – see my review here) and other writers of family sagas will definitely enjoy this debut from Amanda Jennings.