Two friends separated geographically and by one friend being a new parent. They finally find time to connect via Skype. The conversation is awkward then interrupted by a waking child.
One friend is left waiting, the other struggling with pain to get to the now-wailing child.
One friend sees an intruder break-in but has no way of alerting the other friend.
What happens next?
Gripping, right? That’s not only the premise of the story but it is also the very first chapter in summation. I have to say: the first two chapters were very riveting! It felt like the plot was moving quickly and I kept being surprised. Then the resulting chapters I was either confused at the characters’ reactions or bored with the inner monologues and kept skimming. The inner ramblings of the narrating characters ended up being the downfall for the book for me. It showed that the characters are as awful internally as their actions have shown. Their secrets that they kept from one another appears to have been intended to contribute towards the idea that this book is a psychological thriller. However, in my opinion, it was just a boring novel about entitled suburban strife. However aversive the adult characters may have been, the children were redeeming in that they were adorable and pure. 2 stars: One for Nori and One for Rosie.
Back to the inner monologues: there were many diatribes in narration, mostly justifying how horribly they are treating the other characters, that I kept finding myself skimming. They were so lengthy at times that I was relieved when the chapter was finally over so I could put the book down for awhile. Or I would keep putting the book down because it was a series of the worst things that could happen to a character, happening to each character, more than once. I am not sure if the author was going with the idea that “bad things happen to good people” because these characters were not exactly great people. Which is drilled into the readers’ head repeatedly. Or maybe the author was trying to use catastrophic events to help build character. But at the point that I stopped, halfway through, that still did not appear to have happened. Instead, the characters all seem to be self-absorbed and blaming the other for one bad event or another.
There were so many bad things happening with each character that I stopped being surprised at any new element thrown in. OF COURSE! I kept screaming at my Kindle. OF COURSE the HR guy’s name is Toby, just like in The Office. OF COURSE they’re going to mention that his name is like the guy in The Office. OF COURSE Toby isn’t that great, no one in the book is. OF COURSE there’s a shady neighbor. OF COURSE the intruder is not who they originally thought. OF COURSE there are money issues involved. OF COURSE their life fell apart, everyone in this book is falling apart! You get the idea.
In conclusion: I would not recommend this book at all. I would especially not recommend it for younger than adult audiences. Lastly, I would not recommend this book for those who may be triggered or offended by: foul language, infidelity, intruders/break-ins, stalkers, addiction, marital strife, or arson.
Please note: an electronic ARC of this book was generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!