Author: Elizabeth Haynes
“I’d always thought that women who stayed in bad relationships must be foolish. After all, there had to be a moment, a realization that things had taken a wrong turn and you were suddenly afraid to be with your partner–and surely that was the moment to leave. Walk away and don’t look back, I always thought. Why would you stay? And I’d seen women on television, interviewed in magazines, saying things like, “It isn’t that simple,” and I’d always thought yes, it is that simple–just leave, just walk away from it.”
Meet Catherine Bailey, an independent, fun loving party girl from Lancaster. She is always going out with her friends having the time of her life. Meet Lee Brightman, a dangerously handsome, charming and mysterious man who Catherine stumbles upon one night out with her girlfriends. It doesn’t take long for their passionate relationship to bloom. Key to her place and making dinner suddenly turns into demanding to know where she is and telling her what she can not longer wear. Is Lee a little controlling? Or is there more to the story that we don’t know?
Fast forward 4 years later. “Cathy” Bailey, girl with severe OCD and chronic panic attacks, keeps to herself and doesn’t go out because it’s safer that way, right? Her new life, content with checking her flat door more than 10x a day. When Stuart Richardson moves in upstairs things get shaken up. With Catherine’s normal routine, change is not something she takes kindly to. Though hope sparks the more she gets to know Stuart. Until Cathy gets news she has not only been dreading but envisioning the last 3 years. Will Cathy ever strong enough to defeat her demons?
This story is told from two different years, same POV; Catherine Bailey’s. We dredge through the wonderful and awful experiences through Catherine’s earlier “naïve” days and are instantly back with her present self. I personally, loved the way this book was written. The way each character unfolds, progresses, and regresses. My favorite character from this novel is Catherine. The true sympathy and empathy that Elizabeth Hayes contracts from you is heart wrenching. I wanted to reach out just to tell her; I believe you. Relating to Catherine is something scary for anyone to hear especially someone who has read this. Although I have never been subjected to that type of violence, I do struggle with some OCD and panic attacks myself. My heart went out to this character every time she did the repetitive things she did because that I do understand.
The more domestic violent stories I read, the more my initial beliefs on this subject change. I always told myself how stupid a woman had to be to stick around when a man was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing her. They are right when they say it’s not that easy.. and it never will be that easy. Putting yourself in the shoes of another in order to gain their perspective sometimes has a life-changing outcome. These stories continue to give me that enlightenment.
On the edge of my seat is where I always found myself when reading this psychological thriller. I needed just one more page, one more look into Catherine’s past so I could get closer and closer to see the reasoning behind who she was today and why. Sometimes it may be better not to know after all. Chilling and intensely frightening, you will not be able to put this book down. You may even check your doors and windows a little more closely..