In Her Wake was a novel that I was eager to read having seen the excitement and enthusiasm it has generated amongst fellow bloggers and book lovers. And as I read the opening few pages I was immediately hooked, and it is easy to see why this book has been adored.
‘I dreamt vividly the night she died. I’ve had this dream before. In it I am running. Always running.’
This is a moving, psychological thriller centred on the life of Bella Campbell. Bella leads a seemingly perfect life. She has a husband, a job and was brought up by loving parents. However, a family tragedy leaves Bella devastated and is just the start of her harrowing journey of discovery. One tragic event leads to another and with it a secret from the past is uncovered that leaves Bella questioning her existence and everything she has ever known, everyone she has ever loved. This is a story that questions the nature of family; it is a story about love, loss and secrets.
‘This isn’t a storybook. There are no ruby slippers, no enchanted wardrobes, no ships to take me home.’
I was captivated from the very beginning and eager to uncover new secrets and stories along with Bella. There are many twists and turns and I was always left guessing what could have happened, never quite sure what else could be around the corner. There are some heartbreaking moments along the way and I really felt for Bella as she is forced to re-evaluate her life, questioning her existence and her place in the world. As more details are unearthed Bella travels to find the answers to her questions. One of the key destinations is the Cornish coast and the setting is beautifully described and makes for an atmospheric read. The coastal setting is also significant in Bella’s story, linked with folklore and memories of her past that gradually creep to the surface.
‘I stare at the people walking the pavements, shiny as the sun, happily ignorant of the horrors that exist behind doors like the one I’ve just closed…’
This is a beautifully written book that perfectly captures the emotional turmoil that the characters face. It deals with love and loss, hope and desperation. It explores family life, marriages, relationships and how they change, and the lengths people will go to maintain them. As past secrets and betrayals are discovered the full story of Bella’s life gradually becomes clearer and this is perfectly paced. Bella’s story is also interspersed with snippets of her father’s life which help to fill in the gaps in the story that Bella is desperate to fill. I was continually shocked and surprised by this novel, and moved by the characters’ plight.
‘Everything I thought I knew, the peculiar life I was happy with, all of it vanished in an instant.’
In Her Wake is an expertly written psychological novel that was a joy to read. It is a compelling tale that weaves loss and grief with hope. It is a powerful story of one woman’s journey to find the truth, to find closure and to find home.
In Her Wake was published as an e-book on 11th February 2016 and in print on 7th April 2016 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for providing me with a copy for review and for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. You can follow the blog tour on the dates below!