Author: Helen FitzGerald
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire on November 1, 2010
Summary (from amazon.com):
Amelia O’Donohue was stunning. We all knew we were in the presence of tremendous beauty, humbled by her eyes and by her expensive designer clothes. We all deferred to her, waiting for her to initiate conversation, and hanging on every word she said.
So when Amelia asked for my help, What was I to do? Did I have a choice? It’s not like I could tell everyone that she sneaks off in the middle of the night in her pink silk nightie to sleep with her boyfriend. Right?
But this one favor leads to a secret so big it just might change everything-for Amelia and for me…
This book confused me to no end. I think the only reason I didn’t hate it is because it was relatively short (about 200 pages). If this story had been put into 300 or more pages I probably would have hated it. Also, the tone confused me to no end. At the beginning of the novel I wasn’t exactly sure what time period it was mostly because Rachel (the main character) was so bland in narrating. Rachel was just hard to understand and her personality was hard to place in general. In addition to that, there isn’t really a story per say. There is a mystery that you don’t get to until more than halfway through. And honestly, I kinda saw it coming (believe it or not). Still in the end when my suspicions are confirmed it was still a bit of a shock. There are subtle hints throughout the book, that are cleverly placed so that the reader doesn’t read too much into them, but when the finial revelations happen it becomes clear why they were there.
The one thing that this book does a fabulous job of doing is demonstrating the concept of an “unreliable narrator.” To fully understand the story, the reader has to read into everything that Rachel is narrating, but there are a lot of things that are happening that Rachel can’t seem to see. All of that gets revealed in the end of course, but it’s pretty amazing how because we are viewing the world through Rachel’s eyes we miss so much.
One thing that the novel did an awful job of was summarizing the story on the back of the book. The back of the book does a HORRIBLE job of describing what is going to happen in the story. Amelia O’Donohue isn’t even that big of a character. The title is confusing too. This book goes in a completely different direction than I expected it to. As a reader I was actually thankful because I was getting kind of bored, but for some people who were expecting a fluffy story like the title and summary imply they might be a bit irked that the story took on a totally different tone and direction.
I honestly can’t see myself recommending this book to anyone. Not because it was bad (even though it wasn’t awesome), but because it was hard to place the story. There doesn’t seem to be any much character development. One moment Rachel seems apathetic the next she’s a mother and reconciling with her family. I know this is all due to her depression and the fact that she’s pregnant, but since for most of the story you don’t know these things, it’s hard to sympathize. If you don’t give up midway through the story (which I was tempted to do, but I didn’t because it was a short story), then it turns out to be okay.
The sole reason I finished this book is for the sake of finishing it. I wasn’t particularly interested in any of the characters and for most of the book I don’t even see the conflict. I am glad that I did finish it, but I was very tempted to give up midway more than once.