My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'd really give this more of a 3, rounded up to the 3.5 because of the unexpected ending. I was offered this for review via NetGalley (as in, the publicist wrote and said, you liked her first book! Would you like to read this?) and, whilst it's not what I usually read, I picked it up because I really, really loved Velton's first book, Blackberry & Wild Rose. (There are always exceptions, right? Good writing can always surprise you. I was hoping to be surprised. )
Here, Velton uses a similar style, segueing seamlessly between Stella's narrative of her new life and snippets of Connie's old one. There's a mystery to how these two women could possibly be connected. Their lives are so disparate, so separate - how would they ever have met? There's only one person who links them, Connie's husband Mark. And for the most part, you see Connie drawing away from her husband, suspecting him of cheating on her, and you hear Stella wanting to know more about this mystery woman she's stalking on facebook, drawing closer to her - and to him and...
This was honestly where I got bored because one of the reasons I don't quite like reading literary fiction (or what's mostly touted as literary) nowadays is the whole prolonged drama about marriage infidelity.
ANYWAYS I pushed on because annoying as the subject matter was, the writing is good enough that I wasn't throwing things at the wall. I was more invested in Stella, honestly, because of the mystery of her accident and what really happened between her and her mother. Connie's was a very manufactured entitled-white-woman-expat drama that I found myself rolling my eyes at most of the time.
But I'll conclude this review by saying that the book blurb is right - how they are connected is one that I would have never guessed, and even if you skim the whole book, reading that ending when the timelines converge makes the rest of it pretty much worth it.
Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from Quercus via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Just a quick reminder that prices for Amok go up tomorrow, June 24 - so today's your last chance to get it at $2.99 / RM12.