# Book Review #The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist

Sarah Rock appears to lead a sad and lonely life, despite living in a beautiful and spacious apartment in Upper East Side Manhatten and being able to go to museums, art exhibitions and social events she used to love so much. Her children have been sent to attend a boarding school and she is missing the sense of purpose they gave her life. Her husband Eric has become more distant and seems to spend more and more time away on business with his assistant Juliette, whose photos Sarah found on his phone. Eric keeps saying Sarah’s jealousy is totally unfounded, but Juliet turns up everywhere they go . Worse than that, Sarah keeps noticing people giving her looks of pity and treating her as if she is particularly fragile.

One day, Sarah moves forward her appointment with her therapist Dr Helena Robin for an hour and spends this time in the park nearby, reading Therese Raquin by Emile Zola. Immersed in the world of passion, Sarah is surprised to be approached by a young and handsome stranger who strikes a conversation with her. Lawrence is an aspiring writer, although he is quite reluctant to tell Sarah anything else about himself. There is something familiar about him. Could it be that they have met before but Sarah cannot remember it? Four weeks later the police knock on Sarah’s door and inquire about a woman Sarah saw in the park the same day she met Lawrence. Can she help the police without giving herself away? who was the woman and why is Lawrence impossible to find?

The nature of the book is such that Sarah will keep you guessing what is real and what is not. There is no omniscient narrator to help you make sense of the events and the clues, you just have to experience it together with Sarah and try to understand who (and what memories)you can trust.

It is a short read, quite fast-paced and well-written. What I liked the most about it is the way the authors rendered Sarah’s feelings: pervasive sadness, hope, elation, elusive moments of peace and calm, interpersed with confusion and emotional pain.

I saw one major twist coming because the book reminded me of ‘The trick is to keep breathing’, which made an impression on me when I first read it years ago. If you have read this book by Janice Galloway, you might begin to see Sarah’s experience from a certain angle quite early in the story.

Having said it, Teresa Sorkin’s story is original, written in a different genre, and will appeal to readers who enjoy psychological thrillers with masterfully portrayed unreliable narrators.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Beaufort Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  • Have you read The woman in the Park or is it on your tbr?
  • Do you enjoy reading mysteries with an unreliable narrator?

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19 Comments

  1. I hadn’t heard of this book until now, but it sounds very intriguing, Toni. I do enjoy an unreliable narrator and love a good psychological thriller. I’ll have to check this one out. Fabulous review!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I felt we are never going to find out what really went on, although the beginning and the end are a bit more reliable. You are right, if everything in books was too straightforward, it wouldn’t be interesting to read them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jonetta! Will be looking forward to your review. I’m so happy to see that we read a lot of similar books and I get wonderful recommendations. Reading has become much more enjoyable since I found you here on WordPress and GR!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s nice to sometimes figure things out and try to understand some instances on your own when reading so yeah its good to sometimes read a book with an unreliable narrator.
    And with this review this psychological thriller will have lots of questions n I’ll definitely give it a read to.
    Nice review 💚💚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Usually the narrators are unreliable because they tell you a version of the events that puts them in a better light. Then you read somebody else’s version and notice discrepancies and inconsistencies and work it out. Here there’s only one version, and the narrator is actually struggling with her own unreliability, which makes it a very unusual read. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and kind words 💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

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