There are few books that I read that truly stay with me - and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from Dear Amy. I don't know why because it came with typed Dear Amy letters and I totally lap that gimmicky stuff up; but until I opened this book it just didn't seem like it would be something that I would really fall in love with but oh, how wrong I was. I read this book when I needed a distraction more than ever before, and it really worked. I was surprised by it until the very end - and that's really saying something.
Helen Callaghan's novel follows the path of Margot - an agony aunt writer and teacher at a local school learning to navigate life within the middle of a separation and whilst still attempting to move forward after a breakdown. Under her agony aunt name of Amy she begins to receive letters from a kidnapped girl presumed dead over a decade ago and as it becomes more and more clear that this girl may not truly be dead, and Margot's help with the investigation might be putting both of them in real danger, the plot quickly both thickens and darkens.
This is definitely not a pleasant read - it's somewhat uncomfortable and dark and yet it's definitely one that you'll want to recommend, and it's one that will keep you reading long after it's time to go to bed (I put up with an hour of intense travel sickness so I could finish the last few chapters on the way to Wales). It shows the horror of ease behind kidnapping, as well as the impact that it can have on the victims and abusers alike; it's thought provoking and interesting and Callaghan's writing is captivating and really makes you feel like you're a part of the story.
As the story twists and turns you're thrown along with it and as confusion takes over, you're left doubting the facts in from of you in the same way that Margot is. The book is written in such a way that I've passed it on already less than a day after finishing it and I can't wait to get people around me reading it so we can talk about it. It falls somewhere around the "Before I Go To Sleep" category of thrillers and it really does hold it's own against some really huge writers. It's definitely one to add to the bookshelf.
What have you been reading this month that you'd recommend?
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.
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