How well do you know your girlfriend?
How well do you know your lover?
How well do you know yourself?
Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.
But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.
And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.
I have just finished reading this and wanted to write my review, whilst the book is still fresh in my mind. I did make notes when I started reading it yesterday and had hoped to finish it the same day but couldn’t stay awake. So picked the last few chapters up fresh today.
I loved this from page one you don’t really know what the situation is, the whole story is being told by Daniel, although I don’t think his name was mentioned initially, it’s told as he is writing a long letter, although at times he says he will be back because he has something to do, but mainly he is writing this letter to someone called Lucy, of course we have no idea at the beginning who Lucy is either. I loved how the story was told through Daniel and how everything unfolded, he told Lucy everything that had happened, from a very young age, with his father dying when he was 12 years old, his stepfather Frank, and how his mother met him. The life he had then.
When he first met Victoria Christmas Eve 2010 and how much he loved her, and would do anything for her, but things changed, obviously if I say anymore then I would be giving away the story or spoilers. But he was looking for a hobby, and decided to Google hobbies, that just shows how we rely so much on the internet now, what would we do without it now I wonder, when we have become so reliant on it for everything. Anyway, he looked through hobbies, and one thing that came up was to become a pen pal with an inmate in prison, New Years Eve was a low, he wrote a random letter to a random prisoner on his laptop. New Years Day he had a reply but was surprised that it was from a woman, as he thought or assumed, it would be a man he was writing to, but his reply was from Ruby, a female inmate.
The story develops from there where he mentions Ruby and the conversations. But in between this we have Gordon asking if Daniel has finished making his frame for his wife’s mirror yet, as Daniel is a carpenter. There is also Robbie who visits Daniel regularly and watches the television, Daniel doesn’t mind Robbie coming round as he feels sorry for him.
At times the book is creepy, because you are unsure what the truth is and what isn’t, so that draws you into the plot as well, even though it’s still Daniel telling it all.
I really can’t say much more about the story itself without giving away spoilers and I really don’t want to do that, but this book drew me in from page one until the end, the writing is brilliant, the way the author describes the smell of the wood when Daniel is working with it and the sawdust you can almost smell it and feel it. I know you maybe thinking ok sawdust and wood, but it’s the way it’s written, so descriptively.
I really like Daniel, whether I should or not may be a different matter, but I think this is definitely a book to pick up and read and decide for yourself. I don’t think you will be disappointed. There are slight twists at the end as everything starts to fall into place.
I give this book five stars out of five because I just think it’s so well written.
This book is available from the 10th October 2019 as a Hardback or ebook I would like to thank netgalley and Serpents Tail Publishers for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
A.S.Hatch grew up in Lancashire in the 90s and has lived in Taipei and Melbourne. Now he lives in London and writes fiction in the early hours of the morning before going to work in political communications.