Author: Clare Empson
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Paperback 400 pages
Release Date: 4th April 2019
My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invite on this blog tour and the publisher for the copy of the book provided for review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
‘You’re stuck there, aren’t you? Right at the end. And I wonder if it might help to go back to the beginning, to put everything in some kind of order.’
Catherine has witnessed something so traumatic that she can’t speak. Or won’t speak.The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past.
Catherine needs to start with HIM.
Fifteen years ago she met Lucian at university and fell into a passionate love affair. They were meant to be together forever. But something happened. Something that destroyed them.
Catherine married someone else. Had two children. She moved on – or so she thought. Now Lucian is back, showing her how different life could have been.
But going back to the beginning won’t change the ending. In fact, it might be the thing that finally breaks her…
This book is written in a really interesting way. It is told in various timelines including in the ‘Now’ with Catherine in an institute refusing to speak or acknowledge what happened, 15 years earlier when Catherine and Lucian first met, and then in alternating chapters between Catherine and Lucian in the months leading up to the event at Shute Park.
What made it so interesting for me, is that the alternating chapters between Catherine and Lucian are worded as if they are telling their version of events to each other. It’s almost like being a fly on the wall of an incredibly private conversation between two people bearing their souls to each other. At times it can almost be uncomfortable to read because they voice things in their chapters which they probably wouldn’t want anyone else to hear.
Coming to the end of this book I still can’t make up my mind whether the relationship between Catherine and Lucian is a passionate romance that few people will ever experience, or whether it’s the most dysfunctional type of romance you could ever possibly come across. Their need and almost borderline obsession for each other has spanned over half their lives and impacted all subsequent relationships they have formed in the years since they first met.
This is one of those reads where you know from the beginning of the book that something bad has happened. Catherine has obviously shut down and stopped talking for a reason but you don’t know until the end of the book the reasons why she has done this. The tension simmers away between the chapters as events unfold and I really was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out where it all went wrong. This is a page-turner in every sense of the definition and once I started I was racing through to the end finishing it in just two days! Considering this is a debut from the author I thought it was fantastic and if this is the calibre of books to expect then I will be eagerly awaiting what she writes next.
About the Author
Clare Empson is a journalist with a background in national newspapers and has worked as a small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express. Clare freelances for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website http://www.countrycalling.co.uk. Him is her debut novel. Her second novel Mine is an exploration of the fraught relationship between a birth mother and her adopted son set against a backdrop of a passionate love affair in the 70s. Mine will be available August 2019.
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