They say that you can’t choose your family. Well, you can’t choose your step-family either and without the blood ties, sometimes things can get very complicated.
Caroline Overington’s latest novel The One Who Got Away (she’s written seven novels plus three non-fiction books and is a working journalist — I’m exhausted just writing that) is a psychological thriller about Loren Wynne Estes, a woman with a seemingly perfect life: married to handsome David and living in a beautiful home with their twin daughters in an affluent Californian town. The catch is: Loren and David go on a second honeymoon on a cruise ship and only one of them returns.
What really happened on that ship?
Good question. One we need to unpack. Thankfully, it’s the latest read in the Mamamia Book Club podcast. Subscribe in itunes and read along with us, or listen to the full episode here:
Psychological thrillers with a not-so-perfect female protagonist (think Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train) look as though they are set to stay on our shelves for a while, but what really adds another dimension to Overington’s fast paced plot twister is the way she unpacks the relationship between Loren and her step-sister, Molly. Both originally from the “low side” of town, Loren now resides on the “high side” of town. Molly is still on the “low side”.
With Overington unravelling the plot through four different characters (a TV reporter and a judge as well as Loren and Molly), we get to see what two step-sisters really think of each other. Of the love that has grown, of the sacrifices they will make, and ultimately, just how complicated a step-sister relationship is.
Their dad Danny (he is Loren’s biological father) loves both his daughters — and needs both his daughters and is much weaker than both his daughters. As the plot twists and turns, we get to know Loren and Molly and that is one of the biggest — yet quietest — thrills of this page turner of a book.
The One Who Got Away, HarperCollins, $29.99.
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And in case you missed it, here’s last week’s read: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: