I have been reading the book all the afternoon, and I’ve just finished it. The novel has so many twists that you don’t know what to expect.
After their trip to St Tropez, it is clear that Laura and Cherry are never going to be friends. Laura thinks that Cherry is after Daniel’s money. Then she and Howard throw a barbecue as a farewell since he is moving into his new apartment. During that barbecue, Laura tries to talk to her. She tells Cherry that she found out that she had told at work that her grandmother had passed away and that was why she was in France, and she also discovered that she paid only five hundred pounds for the ticket plane when Daniel had given her six hundred. I have to say that these things are inexcusable, but I think at this point Laura is making a mountain out of molehill as the difference in money was just a hundred pounds and what she told her boss to get some time off had nothing to do with Laura or Daniel. Then during that barbecue, Cherry makes a booking for a white-water rafting weekend so that Daniel can’t spend that Saturday with his mother for her birthday. When Laura confronts her about her findings, they are in the basement, and Cherry jumps into the swimming pool and later claims that Laura pushed her because Laura thinks she is a gold-digger.
I felt so outraged on Laura’s behalf. But then the story takes a turning. Cherry and Daniel go to their rafting weekend, and then Daniel gets hurt. Cherry accidentally hits him with her paddle, and as a result, Daniel is thrown out of the boat and lands on a rock. As a consequence, he is flown to the hospital, and Laura and Howard are called. Daniel has had an haematoma, but after the doctors see to it, he is in a coma. Laura doesn’t want Cherry near him, but as months pass and Daniel doesn’t come to, she allows Cherry to see him twice a week when neither she nor Howard are there. Laura is very worried as the months pass and Daniel is not better. Then one day she runs into Cherry, who seems to be upset, and after they talk, Laura tells her that she should have a break and go away.
Cherry goes to Mexico, and while she is away, Daniel takes a turning for the worse. He stops breathing and has a cardiac arrest. The doctors are not optimistic and think that Daniel is likely to die. So as Laura sees her son’s life slip away, she makes a decision. Cherry returns from her holiday in Mexico, and Laura phones her to tell her that Daniel has died and they already had the funeral. However, Daniel doesn’t die, and he actually gets better and regains consciousness, but Laura can’t bring herself to undo what she has done. So she tells Howard and Daniel that Cherry decided to stop coming to see him. I think that was so terrible of Laura. At this point I disliked Laura as much as I had hated Cherry. Laura lives in constant fear that her lie would be caught. Daniel is discharged and she decides to take him to France so that he can recover. Laura fears that Daniel might run into Cherry, so she does something even worse. When she is cleaning Daniel’s apartment, she finds his laptop and when she boots up the computer, she finds Cherry’s twitter account. Next thing she does is to write some terrible tweets about the company she works for, so Cherry is dismissed and has to move back with her mother, which is something that she hates.
Naturally, the truth was to be discovered. So Cherry finally discovers that Daniel is alive, and she goes to see Laura in her office, and threatens her to take away everything she loves. It is then that Cherry starts her campaign against Laura. First, she goes to see Daniel, pretending that she didn’t know he was alive, and then she tells him what his mother had done. So Daniel gets angry and moves out of his mother’s house and into his apartment. Laura tries to talk to him, and explain her reasons to lie, but Daniel can’t understand, and it doesn’t help that Cherry appears, and when Laura makes her accusations, she sounds like a deranged woman who nobody would believe.
After that Daniel cuts all ties with Laura as his relationship with Cherry rekindles and they move in together. Cherry starts her campaign against Laura. She poisons Daniel against his mother, which is not difficult to do as with her lies Laura has dug her own grave. Then using some paper she nicked from Laura when she was in her house, she writes a vile letter to Howard’s lover, and as a consequence, Howard wants to divorce her even though Laura claims that she never wrote the letter. I have to say that this is something they should have done long ago because what they had was not a marriage. Then Cherry almost gets Laura out of work, when she buys two puppies, one as a present for Daniel, and she strangles the other, and when Laura hears about it is when the ITV people call her to say that the leading actress of the drama series she is producing has pulled out after she got a package from Laura inside which there was a dead puppy. Laura knows that this is all Cherry’s doing.
She has lost her son, her husband, and now part of her job, and when she sees Cherry next, she threatens to continue reminding her how it feels like to lose what she loves. Laura is desperate, and in her despair, she locates Laura’s mother, Wendy. The first thing she learns from Wendy is that Daniel and Cherry are engaged to be married, and she feels sick. Then Laura tells Wendy what Cherry has been doing to her. The woman takes umbrage, and when Laura leaves, she knows she has nobody to turn to. Yet, what Laura told Wendy has got to her, and that night Wendy sends a message to Daniel, and when he calls her, Wendy tells her about his mother going to see her, and Wendy admits that Cherry is more than capable of doing everything that Laura claims she has done. Wendy even tells her some stories about Cherry’s childhood in which Cherry did some terrible things to a school friend just to get the upper hand.
Things get strained between Cherry and Daniel, and Cherry knows something is not right and something must have happened to Daniel. Cherry is even considering that what she needs is to get rid of Laura, who has done nothing but disrupt her life. Daniel is thinking about seeing his mother, and that night he has a late shift. Laura calls to tell him to come and see her, but Cherry intercepts the call. So she makes sure Daniel falls asleep, sneaking a pill in his drink. So when he is sleeping, she goes to find Laura. There is a confrontation in which first Cherry tries to mend things and let bygones be bygones, but Laura can’t agree to that. Then Cherry spies a hole in the garden after the workers have been mending the glass roof of the basement, so she thinks that this is the perfect way for Laura to have an accidental death.
Cherry wheedles Laura into the garden, which is in darkness, and tries to steer her towards the hole. What she doesn’t know is that the dog that she bought for Daniel has woken him up, and Daniel is in the house after he didn’t find her in the apartment. So to his horror Daniel sees Cherry running towards Laura with the intention to push her down the hole, but Daniel screams in time, and Laura manages to hold onto the railings, but Cherry loses her balance, and it is Cherry who plunges down the hole and dies.
The end shows Laura moving out of the house as it has too many bitter memories. Howard is living with Marianne, and Daniel also sold the apartment and bought something less flashy but closer to the house Laura is moving into. The ending is quite bleak, but I am glad that Laura was able to save her life even if I didn’t like much. I hated Cherry more.