Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon - she's a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophiestopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.
So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.
One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.
Suddenly her cocoon is shattered - what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?
Review: I picked this book up knowing that there was a lot of hype surrounding it but not really knowing an awful lot more about it and I think that was a really good move. Dani Atkins really knows how to write a story that comes of the back of a tragic event but she has really celled herself with this novel. I spent the first third of this novel a little bit terrified as to what was going o happen to either of the main character, the next third loving life and really loving a blossoming relationship and then the last third being terrified that something awful was going to happen and trying to work out what. What a literary roller coaster-so much fun!
This book starts with a fire and Sophie, our main character, being trapped inside her apartment. As I mentioned above, this is incredibly tense and not something to read if that is a trigger to you bit I was so compelled by the first part of this book that the first 150 pages just flew by. I felt like I got to know Sophie fair quickly because of this major event and I think that this was an excellent way to open the move. We know from the blurb that something else tragic has happened to Sophie and this has effected her. From the beginning of the novel, I felt I could empathise with her as a main character and really rooted for her to get her life together again following the tragic events.
Ben comes into Sophie's life right at the beginning and seems to be one of life's rarities, a genuinely nice guy, but we can see right from the word go that there is a little more to him than meets the eye but we're not sure what. The fun of working out what the mystery was with Ben, coupled with the fact that he helps Sophie to put her life back together again made for the middle of the book to be truly enchanting and just as compelling as the beginning of the book. I loved Ben as a character and really hope that some of his wonderful optimism rubbed off on me from reading this.
The end of the book is really difficult to talk about without giving away any spoilers. Needless to say it is just as compelling as the previous sections of the novel and will definitely have you on the edge of your set. I reached the final few pages in a public place and had the common sense to leave them until I was back in the privacy of a hotel bedroom because you will definitely need tissues for this one and, should you wish to avoid crying in public, I would advice reading the final few chapters on your own or with an affectionate pet to keep you company.
I loved this book so much more that I thought I would. I've read Dani's previous novels and this is definitely her best yet. If you are looking for a new book to pick up this week, something to take you away from the really world for just under 500 pages then this is definitely something you should be adding to you list right now. You will gasp, you will cry and you will come away from this read valuing life just a little bit more!
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