I must admit I did not have high expectations when I began reading this book. I didn’t know anything about the writer and his previous work, and I normally choose my books very carefully. Rare are the times when I take risks with my reading time anymore. But, from the first pages of John Marrs’s book, I was hooked.
The story begins in present day, in Northampton, with a man returning to a place he left 25 years ago. After this short introduction, the reader is cast in the past, 25 years earlier and the story shifts it’s point of view from the man, Simon, to his wife, Catherine. The whole story is told from the point of view of its two main characters, alternating as the action advances and skips from present day to 25 years earlier, until towards the end of the book, past meets present.
Long story short, Simon, the loving father of three children and husband to Catherine, plagued by his demons, tries to commit suicide. When he can’t do it, he decides to leave everything behind, his family, his job, basically his whole file and start a new one. Catherine is left alone to care for her three children, wondering what happened to him for 25 years until he just appears on her doorstep one day. They tell each other the story of their separate lives as Simon leads her to the reasons as to why he left.
The two main characters are multidimensional, and I got the feeling of really knowing them and understanding why they did the things they did. The little glimpses we get in their past helps the reader feel closer to them, shifting from sympathizing with one or the other.
The book had me on edge the whole time I read it. I just needed to know why he left, and Marrs writing is exquisite, leading you on, giving you just enough to keep you hooked and keep reading.
I heartily recommend this book to everyone looking for a good and easy read that keeps you on your toes. Thank you, John Marrs, for a wonderful couple of days.