Penguin Publishing Group | August 2018 | 352 pgs
Source: Library

Julia's life is flat and boring. After a painful breakup with her boyfriend, she set her mind on proving herself at work and hopefully her boss will start to notice her hard work and assign her some important tasks. Bryce walks into her life literally when she is preparing for a presentation and a gust of wind blows her papers everywhere. After Bryce has helped her pick up the papers, he asked to meet her for a drink which she said yes. That drink leads to another meeting and soon Julia finds herself saying yes to being his girlfriend. It's hard not to like Bryce; after all he's handsome, charming and he knows how to make Julia feels special and different. Bryce then brought Julia to his church; introducing her to his so-called family and encouraging her to engage in his church's activities and to follow their teaching and principles. Everything sounds promising except that Bryce doesn't share about his past and that there's something a little off with the Reverend and the followers' belief. And despite Julia's doubts, Bryce always manage to convince her in the end. 

Julia slowly become isolated from her family, friends and eventually her job. After marriage, it become worse as Bryce doesn't seem like the man he used to be. Is it possible for her to leave, given that Bryce has already had plans for their relationship? 

Although this latest novel by Rena Olsen is marketed as a psychological thriller, it read more like a women's fiction with domestic abuse issue. I've to say the plot was quite predictable and I'd some issue about Julia and the ending. First off, I felt Julia jumped too fast into the relationship right from the beginning. Sure, Bryce may seemed like a perfect man initially, but this didn't give Julia a good reason to lose control of her decisions. I knew then that the relationship isn't going to work and after the marriage it only got worse. At that point, I felt no motivation to read further (this explains my slow progress) but there's something about the author's writing that made me continue reading. As for the ending I felt it to be rushed and that some questions are left unanswered. That said, this may deem to be a suitable read for readers who love a domestic drama rather than a suspense/thriller. 

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10 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I'm not a huge fan of domestic drama stories, especially when the plot feels so predictable.

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - Some domestic drama stories are intriguing. I think if the predictability isn't too much in this book, I might enjoy it a bit more. Then again, Julia is another issue.

  3. Verushka Says:

    I like domestic dramas, but I think I would question Julia too much in this to enjoy this entirely.

  4. Melody Says:

    Verushka - I suppose I was hoping too much from this book since the blurb sounds intriguing. Hopefully the next book will be better.

  5. jenclair Says:

    There have been so many domestics lately! I also get a little tired of women who jump into relationships so quickly. This scenario begins to feel like the "women drivers" axiom--women don't really measure up in logic or ability. Irritating stereotype to continue putting out there.

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Exactly! Still, I'm not giving up on domestic thrillers; I suppose I'll be more selective for my pick next time.

  7. Iliana Says:

    Not too sure about this one. I do like domestic thrillers but maybe I've read too many lately!

  8. Melody Says:

    Iliana - There have been too many domestic thrillers lately so I may be picky when it comes to this genre.

  9. I enjoyed her previous book The Girl Before, but I haven't picked this one up yet. The blurb didn't quite grab me - not as exciting as the first!

  10. Melody Says:

    Diana - I haven't read The Girl Before so I'm curious about it after this one didn't grab my attention.

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