Goodreads ~ An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home.
So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again? Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family - especially her flawed twin sister Caroline who always seemed to hate her? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?
Emily is the older twin of Caroline. Their parents, Andrew and Frances, hadn't been married long when Frances got pregnant. Andrew had already checked out of the marriage emotionally and had started cheating on Frances, which she turned a blind eye to. Growing up, Emily was always the favoured one and Caroline grew up jealous and resentful. Emily meets and marries Ben and they have a son and seems to live happily ever after, despite having such a dysfunctional family.
This story starts the day Emily is running away from home, away
from her husband, family and friends, to start a new life.
Emily runs to London and reinvents herself ... she becomes Cat Brown (her birth name is Catherine Emily Brown). She rents a room in a dump and becomes fast friends with Angel, one of the other renters. She gets a job as a receptionist (she was a lawyer in her old life) and gets promoted quickly. Along the way, to try to kill her pain, she spirals into a world of booze and drugs.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it. Once I got used to the rhythm, I liked the writing style. It bounced around from present day to the past (to give us background and history). It is written from different points of view ... when the point of view is Emily's/Cat's, it is in first person in her voice; otherwise it is in third person. Sekis is English and the writing at times shows this ... for example, a trolley there is what we call a shopping cart. The language at times is for mature readers.
I thought the story was interesting. You don't find out why Emily ran away until the end so that keeps you reading because you want to know! Why she left was an interesting twist. I kind of went "huh?" and had to go back and reread some stuff to see how the author sneaked the twist by me.
I liked Cat/Emily ... it was obvious that she was hurting and doing the best she could to move on. It was obvious that she
and Ben had been in love until something went horribly wrong. There are some colourful characters, especially in the rooming house. No one worries about cleanliness (one girls scrapes dog poo off her boots in the kitchen sink) ... it's a cheap place to live so it serves it's purpose. Angel, though a bit twisted, was a good friend to Cat. She too was doing the best she could given her background. I hated Caroline ... she was very selfish and it was all about her. Frances and Andrew were weak and not good role models as parents.
I was satisfied with the ending ... there were no loose ends.
I would recommend this book.