I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to pick up this book. But having picked it up, I was expecting a suspenseful thriller that would be so captivating; I would be turning the pages at quite a speed. However, this is not what I ended up with – in fact far from it.
Catherine wakes up one day to find Simon gone. She naturally assumes he has gone for an early run. Yet when she finds his running shoes by the door and nothing is missing, she begins to suspect that Simon is some sort of trouble. While Catherine is trying to piece her life back together, Simon is hidden half way across the world living a new life. But he cannot stay away forever, and twenty-five years later returns to Catherine ready to tell her the truth, whether she is ready for it or not.
The style of the narrative was written nicely. Simon and Catherine’s past from different time points were woven into the scenes from the present. At first it did seem a little disorientating switching from Catherine’s past to Simon’s and then to the present. But this feeling didn’t last long and I got used to it pretty quickly.
The plot started off slowly, which I had expected. At first the hints and snippets of information revealed were intriguing and kept me reading. Yet, there came a point where I had read a substantial amount of the book and still nothing had really happened – this completely frustrated me! After a while of this sluggishly slow pace, my curiosity levels started to dwindle.
“… there were times when there was no other option but to leave everything behind, and to hell with the ramifications.”
Furthermore, some of the scenes, especially those depicting Simon were coming across as being highly unrealistic and absurd. For me, this took something away from the book. In this type of book, realism was somewhat important.
Additionally, when the big reveal was made as to why Simon left in the first place, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I had expected there to be more behind his reasoning for leaving. Moreover, this emphasized both characters’ flaws – particularly those of Simon’s. It infuriated me that both characters could be so blind – had they learnt nothing in ten years of marriage? Catherine I could sympathize with. I understood her reasoning (to an extent), but Simon was a different matter altogether. There wasn’t anything likable or redeemable about him. His actions, attitude and behaviour disgusted me. I couldn’t fathom how anyone could be like him.
“… the more you trust in someone, the more opportunities you give them to shatter your illusions about them.”
In a nutshell this book made me feel disappointed, disgusted and detached. Definitely would not recommend this book, and I don’t think I’ll be reading more of Marrs’ works anytime in the near future or ever.