Wyn Davies is struggling with a lot of things, like a lot of artists, like a lot of young mothers, like a lot of victims of rape. Hello? What was that last one?
As a 13-yo girl, she took a shortcut through the woods and was attacked and raped. Her rather strange, 13-yo classmate was found guilty and has been in jail for the last 20 years, but now some do-gooder organisation has decided to lobby for a retrial and ask for DNA evidence.
Wyn freaks out. She’s a painter, as is Gus, her slightly estranged (but not strange) husband and father of their cute 4-yo daughter, Avery.
Wyn has limited herself to painting for her Etsy shop and craft fairs - ”quirky birches, the frazzled skittish sky. . . thick white branches, steady limbs . . . A painting you could just as easily hang in a child’s room as a dentist’s office. The kind of painting you buy to match your sofa or blinds.”
In other words (Gus’s words), she’s sold out for the income. He’s a signwriter by day but he paints his real stuff in his own time. She just doesn’t have an 'own' time. So they kind of split up, living in two halves of an old duplex, with Avery darting back and forth.
Meanwhile, her best friend, Pilar, is becoming an acclaimed painter, which is great, but then Pilar doesn’t have a family to support, does she?
When Wyn gets a threatening phone call about the past attack, that does it. She tells nobody, but she accepts Pilar’s offer to take a break and clear her head in an old ramshackle house Pilar owns on an island off the coast of Maine. She tells Gus she just wants to get away for a while, but he’s not happy about it, and both are obviously conflicted about the “break-up”.
She finally tells him about the possible retrial of her attacker, and he is furious and worried about her.
”He stooped down to my height, clutched my elbows in his hands.
And suddenly I was eighteen years old again, peering up into his sweet face, the black freckle below his eye making it impossible to do anything but love him.”
She convinces him to let her take Avery, she visits her parents along the way, finds the ramshackle house in worse condition than Pilar remembered, and Avery suddenly starts wetting the bed. She discovers hidden rolls of film in the house, meets the strange couple next door, freaks out when she’s contacted again, and so it goes.
We see flashbacks to the incident intermittently between chapters of story, until finally the flashbacks and today merge at the end. The second story about the photographs seems unnecessary. Perhaps romance and chick lit fans will enjoy this more than I did.
Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted (so quotes may have changed).
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: KENSINGTON (15 March 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0758290578
- ISBN-13: 978-0758290571
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 295 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 494,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)