In general, I am a fan of Sci-Fi books that involve alternate realities or characters that see things but don’t know if what they are seeing is actually there or just their imagination. (Is there a sub-genre out there for this type of book?) Kate Hope Day has managed to write a book that contains these elements disguised as a family drama that leaves the reader satisfied but also wanting more. I could see this book being a great pick for book clubs because there is a lot to discuss and dissect.
In Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors are about to see things they can’t believe. Ginny, a surgeon, suddenly sees her friend and co-worker Edith laying in her bed instead of her husband Mark. Mark sees a man he calls “other Mark,” a dirty and disheveled version of himself that seems to think something bad is about to happen. Cass, a new mother whose husband is out of town working, sees a vision of herself pregnant again, just as she is about to make a life altering decision and Samara sees her mother, happy and healthy despite the fact that her mom died a year ago. As these visions increase in regularity and intensity, everyone must decide how to react and if what they are seeing can be believed.
If there is one word that could sum up this book, it would be unraveling. The unraveling of time, the unraveling of thoughts, the unraveling of relationships, and the unraveling of insanity. Each character experiences a moment where they question their own sight and mind and wonder what is happening. As the reader, it was great picking up on the small clues the author left throughout to try and piece together what was really happening. Most books have one unreliable narrator-this book has four. This book has a GREAT premise and had me hooked from page one. Hope Day packs a lot of character development into 272 pages and manages to give each character enough time to develop as well as explore their visions in a way that didn’t seem rushed to me. Honestly, this book could have been longer and I wouldn’t have complained but I appreciate an author who knows how many pages their story needs and doesn’t feel the need to add unnecessary plot. While reading, I was afraid there wouldn’t be a meaningful resolution or that things would be left unanswered. Hope Day does a good job of wrapping things up while still leaving some open-ended storylines…but I don’t feel the need for a sequel. It’s an interesting ending and I am very curious to see how other readers will react to it.
I would recommend this book to people who don’t mind reading something without many answers and who like domestic dramas with a dash of science fiction. The writing was well done and the characters were great. I could definitely see this being a top book club pick this year for its discussion worthy plot and ending.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Author: Kate Hope Day
Expected Publication: March 12, 2019
Rating: 4 Stars