Sunday, 21 August 2016

Review - The Girl Who Came Back by Susan Lewis

I’ve never not enjoyed a book written by Susan Lewis and therefore couldn’t wait to get started on The Girl Who Came Back. One thing that can always be said about Susan’s books are that they are powerful, heartbreaking and gripping and The Girl Who Came Back was absolutely no exception to this. It was a truly stunning piece of fiction that had me completely and utterly hooked from very early on and that’s demonstrated exactly why I will never fail to read Susan’s novels. 

One day, the happy family life that Jules Bright had always wanted and had finally got for herself was shattered by the cruel and unthinkable actions of one woman, Amelia Quentin. Now, after only serving a measly three years in prison, Jules learns that Amelia - the woman who destroyed her life by removing the most precious person from it - is being released. Worse still is that Amelia’s coming back to live in her old neighbourhood, where it would be all too easy for Jules to bump into her. What was life like for Jules Bright before Amelia arrived on the scene and how exactly did she turn the life of Jules and her family into a living nightmare? 

The key characters in this book were absolutely exceptional and thanks to the way in which Susan Lewis crafted them, it really was possible to get to know each and every one of them. All of these key characters that were presented to us throughout The Girl Who Came Back all made me feel something different. There was Jules who was so admirable for the strength she displayed in getting through the most difficult of times, Kian whose pain seemed so very real my heart broke for him, Daisy who I adored for the kindness she showed to everyone and Amelia whose actions I couldn’t comprehend. How could anyone be so cruel, manipulative and destructive? They were surrounded by a whole cast of characters who all seemed to have a part to play and who all really added something to the novel. 

What Susan has done within The Girl Who Came Back is create a very intricate novel that it’s very clear to see has been well thought-through and incredibly well researched. Throughout the novel there was quite a lot of description and this was something that I really did appreciate and thought worked extremely well for this particular book as it really helped to add to the growing drama and atmosphere. 

The Girl Who Came Back is not a novel with just one plot running throughout it as a number of other sub-plots were thrown into the mix, including dementia and the supernatural. I found all of the sub-plots to be very interesting to read about and thought that they really added another dimension to the story, helping to keep me fully engaged and on my toes. Although at first I found the transition between the past and present a little bit confusing without any real time markers, I thought the way in which it was told through a series of flashbacks was really effective. 

This was certainly an emotive story that is the perfect read for all those who enjoy a thoroughly good and compelling psychological thriller, one that I could not put down. Susan Lewis is a truly wonderful storyteller whose books I will never tire of reading. If you’ve not read this one yet, what are you waiting for?