Publisher: Legend Press
Publication Date: 10/31/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
A cross-genre novel - female contemporary fiction with an element of suspense.
Sarah Phillips longs for the simple life - a job to fill her days, a home to return to and a small amount of steps to count between the two. Seriously injured in a car crash when she was thirteen, Sarah has no memory of her childhood or the family she lost.
Ellie Wilson remembers her own past only too well, the cruelty she suffered at the hands of a mother that abused her and a father who couldn’t protect her. She finds Sarah fascinating, a mirror to the life she never had.
But as curiosity spills over into obsession, and as Sarah’s world begins to unravel, Ellie moves ever closer.
A special you to Legend Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
To the Edge of Shadows by Joanne Graham is a deeply moving and complex psychological thriller of loss, obsession, and survival— of two women with a past. One with a past forgotten, she wishes to regain; and the other one with an abusive past, she desires to forget.
Sarah Phillips was seriously injured in a car crash when she was thirteen years old and has no memory of her childhood or family. Her father and sister died in the crash and now her loving, Aunt Leah is her only family remaining. However, she continues to have images, headaches, and nightmares of the event, while suffering from severe amnesia.
Later she moves out on her own, thinking her aunt wants her to be more independent. There is a girl living in the same block of apartments named Ellie. Ellie has a past she wants to forget, of an abusive mother and a father who could not protect her, with a horrific childhood. Ellie finds Sarah fascinating and this turns into an obsession, of stalking.
Ellie wishes she had amnesia to take away her painful past and resents Sarah because she can. Ellie is adventurous, outgoing and craves for a life quite different from the one she is living. As Sarah struggles to make sense of her situation without Leah’s support, Ellie begins to take over her life.
The first part of the novel focuses on Sarah’s recovery and trying to fill in the gaps of her past with OCD and PTSD traits. She desires routine and control. As the two characters alternate from past to present (with a different font), the suspense builds with deep descriptive emotions and feelings, where we learn about the complexities of each girl and their innermost thoughts.
A haunting, dark, suspenseful and cleverly written psychological thriller with many twists, turns, and surprises; keeping you reading into the wee hours of the morning.
The characters were well-drawn,and as a few other reviewers have mentioned, Graham’s vivid descriptions and poetic writing, is mesmerizing at times, and I too, found myself bookmarking many pages and phrases. I appreciated the insights and explorations of this highly charged subject of mental illness and its emotional impact.
I look forward to reading Graham's debut, Lacey’s House, and more from this exciting newfound author.