What they say:
We all see what we want to see…
2019: Julianne is preparing a family dinner when her son comes to her and says he’s found something on his iPad. Something so terrible, it will turn Julianne’s world into a nightmare and make her question everything about her marriage and what type of man her husband is or is pretending to be.
1990: Holly is a fresher student at Oxford University. Out of her depth and nervous about her surroundings, she falls into an uneasy friendship with a group of older students from the upper echelons of society and begins to develop feelings for one in particular. He’s confident, quiet, attractive and seems to like her too. But as the year progresses, her friends’ behaviour grows steadily more disconcerting and Holly begins to realise she might just be a disposable pawn in a very sinister game.
A devastating secret has simmered beneath the surface for over twenty-five years. Now it’s time to discover the truth. But what if you’re afraid of what you might find?
I have to admit I had seen some reviews by bloggers on this and had noted that there was a trigger warning on it. From the start I enjoyed the author’s writing and kept thinking I had come up against content that required the trigger warning but I was so so wrong!
While the opening content of the computer read as quite tough I thought I was done and settled into the story, a dual timeline with two narrators. It was the tale of a very privileged mother finding out her husband was harbouring something ugly on his iPad. This is where I hit the first lot of content which I found to be horrible, but we were cast back to the privileged land of Oxford, and a new student finding her feet who came up against people of extreme wealth who seemed to be all about the literature but who we secretly realise don’t hold much worth for people they feel ‘lesser’ than them and I read on.
In the book we went on to more sexually explicit content, a gang rape, followed by even more harrowing images. A simple ‘contains tough sexually explicit material’ or the like would have done the job and to be honest it really, really irked me and after looking through a few reviews (okay I read all of them) on Amazon I was ready to quit but decided to go on. I will say I liked the author’s style of writing and ability to create tension and settings, but obviously the explicit thing and lack of a warning really put my hackles up. Thanks to Avon and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review. Rating: 3/5