The truth will set you free. But it’s the lies that keep you safe.
At the beginning of the book a woman dies, falling down from a treacherous mountain path and leaving her child motherless. Who is she? what kind of secrets and frustrations made her go on the fateful mountain climb when she was clearly not in the right kind of shape and state to do it?
And so our guessing game begins… We meet Lee, a single mom of Mason, a delightful and amazingly gifted child with a sensory processing disorder, which means Lee has to run hairstyling business from home, so that Mason can be homeschooled and given occupational therapy. We also meet Grace, Lee’s best friend, who is a kind and symathetic divorced mother of seven year old Luca. Lee became friends with a few playground mothers long time ago when Mason was still asymptomatic. They all want to help Lee, and they all have different strengths and roles, but it is Grace that Lee confides in and feels safe around. It does help that Grace adores and understands Mason better than anybody else.
Lee’s life is full of relentless responsibilities, so when her friends suggest a weekend away, she doesn’t even take it into serious consideration. Eventually, Noah, Mason’s tutor and occupational therapist, persuades her to go by saying he will take care of the boy and send hourly updates all weekend. But as we know forty-eight hours later a tragedy strikes.
We get three points of view in this book, as well as two timelines of present (before and after the fall) and past. Fairly quickly, we realise that Grace, lee and Noah are all keeping secrets from each other, secrets that they are not willing or not ready to share, because they can destroy the lives they have been carefully constructing.
Rea Frey’s writing is compelling and you get drawn into the book from page one. We see that the narrators are unreliable for various reasons, and the clues left by the author may or may not be leading us to the truth. I must admit I didn’t see the final revelation coming, which made it all even more fascinating, although not entirely believable.
What I liked the most about this book is the emotional engagement the author carefully creates. Any mother will recognise the worry of having a child diagnosed with a disorder that will require special care, the worry of not being able to meet their physical, emotional or developmental needs. How do you make sure your child is going to thrive and live their life to the fullest without exposing them to unmitigated risks? Similarly, any reader will understand a single mother’s desire to meet ‘an appropriate, responsible, honorable’ friend or a future partner.
A well-crafted domestic thriller with twists and turns that will keep you reading compulsively.
Thank you to Edelweiss and St.Martin’s Griffin for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
- Have you read Because you’re mine? What did you think of the ending?
- Is it on your tbr? Have you read Rea Frey’s previous book? Did you like it?