The Stranger in my Home 8


I am flabbergasted.

I have to say that I didn’t expect the outcome at all. When Alison foolishly goes to find Tom after her row with Jeff, he makes a pass at her, and the way he reacts made me realise he is not so nice as I believed. Alison’s behaviour leaves much to be desired, and maybe she is too naive. Her closeness to Tom clearly sent mixed signals, and his taking advantage of her low moment didn’t come as a surprise. One of the things I didn’t expect was his aggressive pass at Alison. She was putting up a fight, but he didn’t let her go. I think this should have been a warning, and instead of blaming herself, she should have realised that Tom had gone too far.

I am glad that after that episode Jeff and Alison talk. For the first time in weeks they are able to have a heart-to-heart conversation. She discovers that the plot that she had read in his notebook, which is an account of the baby swap and even the baby she had given up for adoption, is not the one that he sent to his agent. It is clear that they had been drifting apart, and Alison has stopped trusting her husband. I am glad that they manage to talk, but I really wanted her to tell him what had happened with Tom. Even though she acted stupidly, trusting a man she didn’t know the first thing about, I don’t think she was to blame for the strange idea Tom threw her. His idea of getting together and forming a family was too much, but then we learn what was happening in his head.

And then comes the bomb. Katherine is at a sleepover, but the following night she goes missing. According to her friend’s mum, she got a message from her father, arranging to pick her up at some coffee shop. Katherine doesn’t show up, and after hours of anguish they finally call the police. That night Katherine doesn’t return that night,but the following morning there is  a knock at the door, and Alison opens to discover a woman. Then the truth come in the open. The woman is Annabel, supposedly the dead wife of Tom; she comes with Olivia, and Annabel tells Alison and Jeff that there is not truth in what Tom had told him. She never had ovarian cancer and there is no mutated gene to worry about. Actually, Annabel had breast cancer, but she survived. It was when her family volunteered to donate blood that they discovered that Olivia wasn’t theirs. Annabel was of the opinion that Olivia was her child, even if she wasn’t hers biologically. Tom discovered where their birth daughter was, but Annabel wanted to leave things as they were; according to her, it made no sense to rock the boat. Tom, though, became obsessed, and he made them move from London and even lost his job. He claimed that he was happy with just watching his birth daughter from afar.

The marriage didn’t survive because Tom became more and more unbearable. Annabel divorced him, and now she has a partner and expecting his child. Annabel thinks that when Tom learnt about this new pregnancy that she decided to contact Alison and her family. Yet, everything he told them was a lie. Annabel was not dead, there was no danger of a mutated gene for Katherine, the children lived with their mother, not him, and he had no job. He tried to keep Olivia from Alison by telling her that the Mitchells weren’t interested in knowing her, and since he had asked Alison and Jeff not to mention his wife before the children, there was no reason why Annabel’s name could crop up.

So now it is clear that Katherine is with Tom. Alison realizes that Tom has been manipulating all of them. He even told a bunch of lies about Katherine, about her inability to cope at school, about cutting herself… I guess he wanted to make Alison guilty. I wonder how Katherine is and how he has managed to keep her away from her parents. I hope that he hasn’t hurt her. What a terrible man! He is a pathological liar, and I’m surprised he got so far with his lies.


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