Title: Close To Me
Author: Amanda Reynolds
Close To Me is a gripping debut psychological drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling The Husband’s Secret, Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go, and Linda Green’s While My Eyes Were Closed.
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.
Close To Me is an intriguing read that kept me guessing. It’s not exactly what I was expecting – I thought it would be more focused on why and how Jo fell down the stairs, but actually that ‘occurrence’ sort of acts as a starting point for other aspects – and in a way, the more interesting aspects – of the story: her and husband’s Rob’s relationship, and the relationship between her and her children and those around her, too.
Close To Me is less of a thriller-type story, instead focussing on the family dynamics between characters, and despite being a crime/thriller addict I found I really enjoyed finding out more about the life Jo led before her accident. The characters themselves are interesting and well-developed – though that’s not to say I liked all of them straight off. Obviously, Rob’s views and opinions on many things really grated on me, but we’re obviously not supposed to like him anyway! Jo, however, was a tough cookie to crack – she seemed a bit unreasonable at the start, but as the story develops I warmed to her and started to understand more of why she was behaving the way she was. It’s unclear throughout the novel whether she is a reliable narrator or not, and there are parts which made me think strongly in one direction, and parts which turned me the other way, and I really enjoy books that do this.
The writing is great, and really skilful, and though the story itself – a wife losing her memory and unsure if she can trust those around her, particularly her husband – isn’t particularly different or original, it is written in an engaging, enjoyable way and so I found myself engrossed in the story!
A recommended read, particularly if you like interesting character development and a good dose of drama!
Many thanks to Headline and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.