Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 27 January 2015
Format: Paperback, 304 pgs
Deceit. Lies. Secrets. Before you open this book you get this idea that this story is about the lead character, Emily Coleman having something to hide, to the extent of changing her identity. She leaves her husband and little Charlie one day. No one knows why.
As the story progresses, there are flash back of Emily's past from the day she was born, and how she felt towards her twin sister, Caroline. She is the eldest twin and during the delivery, their mother, Frances, went into shock after learning that she'd another baby in her womb. She'd made preparations for only one baby, not two. Despite her denial and reluctance, she accepted the other twin though her devotion is still towards Emily. As for their father, he is apathetic towards them as they grew over the years. The feelings he'd had for his wife has faded since her pregnancy. And since he couldn't leave Frances physically so he'd left her emotionally.
Since babies, Emily and Caroline are two different girls despite they are twin sisters; one is calm and kind while the other is flighty and neurotic. As they grew older, their differences became more prominent; Emily will be the one whom everyone likes to hang out with, while Caroline will shock people with her speech and behaviours. They drifted apart after Emily's marriage but Emily still does keep in touch with her mother so she knows Caroline is doing fine in the fashion industry. Despite the years passed and the distance, Caroline still feels jealousy towards Emily.
Emily, on the other end, appears to have a blissful family life. Thus it is puzzling why she chose to live a new life and this is where the intrigue comes in. This story is narrated in both first and third person; flashbacks and present alternatively throughout the story. The first person POV is Emily's new identity and tells us her journey living as Catherine Brown; how she knew her flatmate Angela to finding a job in London. While I didn't find the whole POV settings and scenarios confusing, what I have to say is I was both intrigued and disappointed with the characterisations and the plot. The characters are interesting, no doubt, in particularly to Emily and Caroline but they aren't likeable characters to me, though I felt sympathy towards Caroline's life growing up and then what Emily had encountered. Still, Emily's secrets is the drive of this story and this is what makes it a page-turner.
And as much as the closure is neat and nice, I wasn't totally satisfied with the ending and/or Emily's secrets. I had had expected something more but it didn't go towards the direction I was anticipating. Nevertheless, this book still makes a good psychological thriller and author Tina Seskis' writing style is simply engrossing.