Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Terry has been reading If She Wakes by Erik Therme.
I didn’t realise when I opened this novel on my Kindle that it was a sequel, as I don’t look a book up on Amazon after choosing it for review so I can’t be influenced by others. I gather that in the first book, Tess and Josh’s daughter Lily was killed in an RTA by Brady, after which Tess stalked his family (wife Meg and daughter Amy), and Meg faked Amy being kidnapped. Also, Tess’s brother Colin died of cancer – he was married to Torrie, and they have a son, Levi. I learned this from a prologue and first chapter that contained a little too much exposition; a brief ‘story so far’ in the introduction might have worked better.
The title refers to Torrie, who falls into a coma early in the story, the rest of which centres around Tess and Josh’s necessary but difficult relationships with Torrie’s family members, as care for Levi is of prime importance. Mysteries abound concerning Torrie and her family. Although certain conclusions are reached by the end of the book, it’s clear that it’s making way for a third novel as the story is by no means finished.
I’m afraid I found this novel a little ‘flat’; it flowed well and is professionally presented; the author has thought up a reasonable plot and delivered it, and the characters are fairly well represented. The emotional problems within Tess and Josh’s marriage are well written and realistic, but none of the characters are likeable (you need at least one person to root for!) and I felt that the conversation and narrative lacked spark. An example: ‘I nod, as if I didn’t already know this. “Better to go tonight and get it done, as something might change in the morning, and we wouldn’t have time. I’ll go. I just need a few minutes to relax after I finish clearing the table. It’s been a long day”.’ It’s all like that. Nothing wrong with it, but it just didn’t grab me. A couple of times I got a little excited by what appeared to be the beginning of a good plot line, but each time it fizzled out quickly. The twist at the end was over-explained and a bit tenuous, I thought.
It’s not bad, but for me it was just ‘okay’. This is, of course, always so subjective, and others might feel differently, particularly if they loved the first book.
Who do you trust when everyone is lying?
My name is Tess Parker.
Two days ago, I was in a car accident with my sister-in-law, Torrie. Before she slipped into a coma, she asked my husband and me to care for her four-month-old son, Levi.
Yesterday, a woman claiming to be Torrie’s estranged sister knocked on our door. But Torrie has no siblings . . . or so she said. She and my brother were only together a short time before he left, and Torrie has clearly been keeping secrets.
Today, another of Torrie’s “sisters” has come to town. Both say the other is lying about who they are.
Neither of them is telling the truth.
Both of them want Levi.
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I do admire Terry’s reviews. She gets to the heart of the matter, pros and cons, with great skill.
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Thank you Noelle.
Nice review, Terry. I also agree that I like at least one character to root for!
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