Wow!!! What a roller coaster of emotions!!!
How damaged Anna was!!! I was angry with Dan because he allowed that woman into their home. I understand he was afraid of losing Grace, and the woman was blackmailing him. However, he could plainly see that Anna was hurting Grace, and he didn’t do anything to stop her!!! I can understand how Grace left him after finding the truth.Actually, the truth was not complete; there was still so much more to come.
Grace is scared after she almost dies when Anna sets fire to the cottage. She flees to London, but she still thinks she sees Anna everywhere. There is an occasion when Grace believes Anna even tried to push her off the tube platform. It is in London that Dan goes to find her. Despite all his mistakes, I felt sorry for him. His behaviour was inexcusable; that’s clear, but I liked them together. Their long-lasting love was romantic and nice despite their problems. In the end when they talk and he explains himself, Grace agrees that after Charlie’s death she was unreachable, and she never bothered to wonder if Dan was right. However, they realise that their problems started before Charlie’s death, and Grace thinks they haven’t been a couple since then. I really felt sorry for them because despite everything that happened, I think Dan was also a pawn in Anna’s hand and it is a shame he and Grace ended up broken.
Then the big truth comes. Grace finds out that Anna is actually Charlie’s sister after all; Dan was not really her target, but Grace. We learn that Lexie had twins and gave Anna away. It is when Lexie asks her to come and see her that she finds out more; Grace goes to the cottage to spend the night, and when she wakes up, she finds herself shackled to the bed and Anna walks in. The situation is totally insane, and Anna is clearly nuts. Then Lexie ends up in the same situation when she is lured into the cottage.
Shackled together, Lexie finally tells the truth about her twin girls, and how she couldn’t cope with Belle, which is Anna’s real name. When Belle turned eighteen, she wrote to her mother but Lexie never replied. And when she found out that it was only her who had been given away, she got angry. We know that Charlie died because of a heart condition, inherited from her father, but she didn’t even know because Lexie kept this from her. Lexie also confesses that she was the one who wrote the letters to Grace because she was afraid that she would convince Charlie to find her father. She feared Charlie would find out that there was a sister and she had hidden the fact she might have a genetic disease. This is the terrible thing Charlie had said she had done: keep quiet about the letters when she found out. Suspicion on Siobhan caused her to lose her friends and fall with the gang that introduced her to drugs and led to her death. That is what Charlie’s silence had done.
In this confrontation between Anna, Lexie, and Grace, we also learn that Anna had a family, a husband and a son, but the toddler died, and only now she learns that it was a hereditary condition. I felt sorry for Anna, and I understand her anger, but what she did was horrible. Grace was not to blame for what she missed out on life. Thankfully, Lexie and Grace managed to unlock their shackles using a hairpin and they manage to stop Anna from causing further damage.
The end is hopeful and lovely. Lexie is going to therapy to deal with her addictions, and Anna is in a mental hospital being treated for their mental problems. Grace is pregnant; the nausea she has been suffering lately was caused by her unknown pregnancy. Dan is pleased, and she says that he keeps proposing, but so far they are only friends. Yet, there is some vain hope in her voice. At least, she seems happy, and the end shows us meeting Charlie’s real father, what Charlie had wanted since she was very young but never got to do.
I really loved the book. I couldn’t put it down as I wanted to know more and more. It also made me frustrated and also apprehensive. Anna was definitely a very troubling character that really makes you scared. Great debut book of the author. I’ll definitely read her next work.