Far fetched? Possibly. But sadly, as they say, the truth is stranger than fiction. This truth, however, happens more often than we would like to think: men who appear loving and ‘perfect’ on the surface but who hide something much darker behind that charming facade.
That’s the case with David who manages to con Annie into a life that to others appears to be ‘the dream’ – all seems wonderful: beautiful home (because if something is not to his liking, he’ll make her pay for it) and everything she could possibly need (but she’s not the one who gets to decide what that is). Sadly, because of her precious child, she’d stuck in a deadly situation with her evil husband and his harridan of a mother who’s created her monster of a son.
So Annie creates a way to escape – in her dreams. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the title of the book refers to who Annie is in her fantasy life or the role she’s forced to portray in her everyday life. This book doesn’t follow any of the expected formulae that one is used to. It defies all the rules, and it’s wonderfully refreshing – not to mention incredibly disturbing – in its approach to the thriller genre. It’s this very thing that makes it thoroughly readable and utterly unputdownable! And it’s also the reason that one can’t give much away in a review and you just have to read it for yourself!
Dream sequences share space with stark reality here, and there are brutal descriptions of abuse – both physical and emotional – that left me literally gasping for air and feeling quite desperately sad for Annie. As much as I was inwardly screaming for her to get out, I recognised the sheer difficulty of her situation, and that of all women in situations similar to this. When people ask why they don’t ‘just leave’ they need to have a deeper grasp of the relationship that a person has not only with her partner but also with herself. It is never, ever that simple! But I drifted with Annie, into her alternate world. It’s an enthralling place that Louisa de Lange has expertly created here.
This is a must read! I give it 5 shimmery stars, and I thank Tracy Fenton and Orion Books for inviting me along for this very different, disturbing journey.
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