Author: Barbara Claypole White
Summary: Suspenseful and hard to put down, but not as emotionally engaging as I’d hoped because of unrealistic dialogue.
“Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return. But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior…Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?”
As someone with admittedly limited prior knowledge, I have to first note what a good job the author seems to have done portraying a character with OCD. As a fan of well-researched books I was impressed by the many sources the author consulted, including getting feedback from several people with OCD. As a reader, I found Katie’s behavior relatable and internally consistent. Actually, every one of the characters was relatable – all flawed, but trying to do the right thing.What made this a good read instead of a great one for me was that I’ve read other books that I’ve felt more emotionally invested in. I think the main reason I wasn’t all in with this book was the dialogue. Characters just knew the perfect thing to say a little too often, sometimes straying into cheesy and at other times feeling like the author was lecturing.
In other respects, this book was exactly what I expected. It had the same feel as many other family dramas, with a mix of hope and regret brought to life in simple, touching prose. The author also did a great job of keeping up a constant, low level of suspense without artificially concealing information from the reader. At the beginning, I couldn’t wait to learn more about Katie’s past and after the halfway point, I couldn’t wait to see how everything would work out. Although this book wasn’t a perfect fit for me, I flew through it. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for an easy, enjoyable read that still feels light while dealing with many difficult topics.
For other perspectives, check out the other stops on the tour.