Review – Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

ABOUT THE BOOK

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She can’t remember the last year.  Her husband wants to keep it that way.

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia – she’s lost a whole year of memories.  A lot can happen in a year: Was Jo having an affair?  Lying to her family?  Starting a new life?  She can’t remember what she did – or what happened the night she fell.

But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Jo Harding wakes up in a nightmare.  She has fallen down the stairs and she has absolutely no idea how it happened.  She can’t remember anything from the last year, and Amanda Reynolds descriptive character work leads you to believe that this is a classic case of domestic abuse… but is it?!

We are thrown dramatically back and forth in time seeing the world through Jo’s eyes, helping her to try and piece together the last year of her life.  There are plenty of shockers along the way which makes for excitable reading.

Jo, since the fall, is a very vulnerable and wounded lady, both mentally and physically.  She is struggling to process how much life has changed in the last year, and I really feel for her.  The large chunks we read from the past show that Jo used to be a lady that was very much in control of her life which is a huge contrast to who she is now.

Rob, Jo’s husband, is an accountant and spends an awful lot of time working.  He appears to be hiding a lot since the fall but is this to protect Jo or to protect himself?!

Sash, the daughter, has completely changed in Jo’s eyes from a pretty girly girl to a dark, sultry woman.  It also doesn’t help that Jo and Rob do not approve of her boyfriend of whom they are blaming Sash’s change of character on.  There is clearly a friction in this parent/daughter relationship – buy why?!

Fin, the son, is struggling to even look at his mum following the fall.  Is he being so hidden because he has dropped out of university and she doesn’t remember?  Or is it because he knows something else? No matter what though, Jo still sees Fin as her little boy and she wants to protect him nonetheless.

You can tell that this family of four used to be very tight knit, but a lot has happened in the last year which is starting to come to light.  This is a wonderful, thrilling, jaw-dropping debut and Amanda Reynolds will have you eating out of the palm of her hand.

This stunner is out tomorrow in paperback, but the ebook is available to buy already.  A huge thank you to Wildfire Books and Bookbridgr for sending me a copy to review in return for my views – I truly loved it!

My final word: Secretive.

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