Single mother Roz has reached breaking-point. After the dissolution of her marriage, Roz’s business has gone under, debts are racking up, the rent is late (again), and she’s struggling to provide for her nine-year-old son, who is starting to misbehave in school. Roz is in trouble. Real trouble.
When Roz returns home from work one day and finds an eviction notice, she knows that it’s time for action—she has two weeks to find a solution otherwise they will be kicked out of their home. Increasingly desperate, Roz doesn’t know where to turn. Then the perfect opportunity presents itself. At her sister’s fortieth birthday party, Roz meets Scott Elias—wealthy, powerful, and very married. But the impression Roz leaves on him is indelible. He tracks her down and makes Roz an offer to spend the night with him—for money. He wants no-strings-attached intimacy and can guarantee total discretion.
Could it be as simple as it sounds? With that kind of cash, Roz could clear her debts and get her life back on track. But as the situation spirals out of her control, Roz is forced to do things she never thought herself capable of. Can she ever set things right again?
I didn’t really know what to expect from The Mistake I Made as I’ve never read any of Paula Daly’s novels before and I’d purposefully not read up a lot about it before reading (I’ve been trying to do this with more books recently as I really enjoy reading novels without my own assumptions or expectations). I’d only very quickly scanned the synopsis. I didn’t necessarily expect to enjoy this book as much as I did- which was so much!
The main character Roz certainly made some questionable choices but Daly writes so well that I completely understood her desperation and kind of understood why she did it. Other characters were also really well developed too and the novel certainly provoked strong feelings from me as I read!
You can see where the story is going from a mile off, but I felt like that’s surely the point- readers can guess pretty well which direction Roz’s life is heading from this one mistake. There was still surprise and tension as I didn’t know exactly what was going to come of it, which meant it was really interesting and enjoyable to read, but I could tell things were going to get messy! With some novels like this I just feel frustrated with the characters who make such bad choices, but as I mentioned before, Paula Daly writes very convincingly and I therefore didn’t feel the same annoyance and irritation as I usually do, I just felt really bad for her whilst still warming to her as a character!
The story is really interesting as it prompts you to think how you might react in a similar situation, and how your family and friends would respond to finding out about it, as Roz’s did. The desperation she felt as a mother must ring true for many families sadly and I feel that Paula Daly did a really good job of putting character Roz’s feelings and reasons across without it becoming too preachy either way.
I would definitely recommend this brilliant novel and hope to read more of Paula Daly!
The Mistake I Made is published in the UK on 27th August.
** Many thanks to the publisher who provided a copy of this novel in return for an honest review **