‘What She Left Behind’ is the latest book by Emily Freud.
Lauren can’t wait to leave London for a fresh start in the countryside with her new partner Paul and his two young children. She never thought she’d be so lucky. A dream glass house in the woods, a ready-made family, a second chance. But as dark rumours swirl about their new home, Lauren begins to question their happily-ever-after. When they met, she was at her most vulnerable. She would trust Paul with her life. But should she?
If you enjoy twisty, psychological thrillers, then you must read ‘What She Left Behind’.
The story is seen through the narrative of two women Lauren and Eliza. Lauren has left London with her new boyfriend Paul and his two children Jesse and Margo. They move to a glass house in the middle of no-where with no other people or houses close by. Lauren is recovering from an accident and Paul is her therapist and that’s how they’ve met each other. Lauren is alone with her thoughts, whilst the children are at school and Paul is working. Anytime she ventures into the small town, the locals tell her about the bad things that happened in the glass house. Lauren begins to feel uneasy in the house and begins to notice that Paul isn’t quite the dream man that she is led to believe. Eliza also lived in the glass house and is also going through something similar and both women are beginning to regret giving up their sociable lives to become recluses.
Right from the outset, this story is a bleak one. The setting of the story is intense and dismal and with each page, the air of claustrophobia and loneliness becomes stronger. Lauren is a lovely character, she’s settled into the role of girlfriend and new step parent to Jesse and Margo, she’s not used to children, particularly ones that are still getting over the death of their mother and adjusting to new lives. But she’s constantly striving to do better under Paul’s critical eye. Once a charming man, he’s erratic and sometimes nasty and it does make for uncomfortable and unsettling reading with some of the things that he says and does.
This story will certainly keep you on your toes and with the different narratives, it’s quite the guessing game. It’s cleverly written and packed with unreliable characters and uncertainty throughout. Brimming with suspense, tension, ‘What She Left Behind’ is a dark and troubling story with a shocking ending.
You can buy ‘What She Left Behind’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.