Sunday 19 January 2014

Book ~ "The Woman Before Me" (2013) Ruth Dugdall

From Goodreads ~ Rose Wilks' life is shattered when her newborn baby, Joel, is admitted to intensive care. 

Emma Hatcher has all that Rose lacks. Beauty. A loving husband. A healthy son. Until tragedy strikes and Rose is the only suspect. 

Now, having spent nearly five years behind bars, Rose is just weeks away from freedom. Her probation officer, Cate, must decide whether Rose is remorseful for Luke's death or whether she remains a threat to society. 

As Cate is drawn in, she begins to doubt her own judgement. Where is the line between love and obsession, can justice be served and, if so ... by what means?

Rose had a rough childhood.  Her mother suffered from depression and eventually commited suicide.  Rose meets and falls desperately in love with Jason, a bartender, in the fancy hotel where they work.  Alas, Jason is still in love with his ex-wife, Emma, who has since remarried.  Rose gets pregnant and she and Jason have a son named Joel.  Rose has a difficult delivery and Joel is placed in intensive care but doesn't make it.

At the same time, Emma is giving birth to Luke and the two women meet in the hospital and become friends.  In the following months, Ruth helps Emma out with Luke.  One night there is a fire, Luke dies and Ruth is arrested and convicted for Luke's death.

Cate is a probation officer, new on the job in a prison.  Rose has been in prison for four years and Cate has to determine whether Rose should be released on probation (otherwise she still has two more years to serve).

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style ... I found it flowed well and kept my interest.  I thought the description of what it's like to be a prisoner honest and true-to-life to be as I imagined.  As a head's up, the language at times is for a mature audience.

The format was interesting.  It is written in two perspectives which switch back and forth ... third person and first person.  It is written in third person perspective with a focus on Cate.  Ruth has started to write a diary to Jason and it's first person perspective when we are "reading" her diary.  We are taken back to the past and find out the history of what happened and what led up to present day through Cate's interviews with Ruth, Jason, Emma and Emma's husband, along with "reading" the diary.

Cate is a single mom struggling with the bitterness of her husband leaving her for another woman.  She's been pushed into a new job in the prison where no one has empathy for the prisoners, especially child killers.  Ruth wasn't overly likeable but I felt sorry for her.

A part of the ending surprised me.  Though I wasn't expecting it, it made sense in a twisted way.

I look forward to reading other books by this author.

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

I like endings that make you think :)