‘I was four when I killed my baby brother’. Two decades on and Rose is still haunted by the death of her brother. Her father grieved for the baby and for her, but her mother shuddered even at the sound of her name. Rose took a vow of silence and nothing has broken through.
Review Taken from Previous Reviewing Account
I’ve slept now and I’ve managed to pull myself back together… sort of. I’m still amazed at that book. I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. Not because Penelope Evans is a bad writer, truth is I’d never heard of her, but because I normally only read fantasy books or historical fiction between the 14-1600s, I picked up a different kind of book in the hope it would be a good arm band because I’ve been feeling a bit low and thought a change could be good for me. Well, I was right.
Rosie Posie hmm. What a character she is, everything she said felt was so believable and Evans depicted the life of a mute through trauma perfectly (I’ve studied the social psychology of it at college) but also made her a lovable character – and of course she was far from perfect, even with the plot twist at the end, which made me love her more. As a character she was well thought out and well developed and it did sometimes feel as if I was reading someone’s diary – which gave me an awkward guilty feeling but I just couldn’t put the book down.
Now. Max. I was unsure of him through most of the book, I was annoyed that he was making Rosie (even if accidentally) think that she couldn’t survive on her own, all throughout I saw her as strong and passionate so when Caroline said it at the end I was so relieved. Max definitely babied her, and of course it was explained why at the end, and it made me sad because his actions were so unnecessary. Looking back, his guilt is now really obvious, I thought he was an addict because it was his way of dealing with losing his brother, and also having to deal with the car crash that was his parents’ marriage, but now that I know the truth, everything finally makes more sense – which is another reason I love this story so much, Evans made Max so believable and real, and the way he treated Rosie was incredibly accurate. I wasn’t expecting him to die at the end and I feel I should be sad about it but I’m not… I guess I’m sort of relieved because I really wanted Rosie to become independent and now she can. I’d love to read a story about the rest of her life. I don’t need to say anything about the truth, because something like that could most definitely happen.
Caroline… hmm. To be honest, I didn’t like her. I understood Max’s attraction to her and I understood why Rosie became fond of her, but personally I found her incredibly annoying. She patronised Rosie, which was also written perfectly, and I don’t think she should have ever try to force the truth out of Max, she should have been more understanding. Stupid woman. The fact that she was a journalist was so clever and definitely helped me to get to know her.
I may have found Caroline irritating but Ruth just took the damn biscuit. Patronising, rude, self-centered and ridiculously determined. Her obsession, because that’s what it was, with Max was so odd and I didn’t understand why she felt that way! Max was made to be an idol in the story, but I never idolised him and so Ruth’s love for him was a mystery to me. Despite that I did believe in her character, believed in the type of person she was depicted to be and hated her for it. One thing with Ruth though, she never patronised Rosie, she may have been patronising about and to Max and Caroline, but not to Rosie. Not really. Which I liked about her, I suppose it was because she was too selfish to consider that she might need to talk to Rosie in a sympathetic and gentle way. I did sort of come to admire her determination, until the wedding dress incident, and I was aching for her to channel that determination into something else – the centre for example.
And everyone else. Well. The nuns. Total bitches. They punished Rosie for something that wasn’t her fault and I wanted to hit them. Hard. With a chair. The policeman was incredibly soft but incredibly convinced that he was right – I wonder how he reacted to Max’s actions before and during his suicide? I really do hope they managed to untangle the spider’s web that had become his life, leaving Rosie in the clear. I wonder if she ever told anyone the truth about their brother?
Overall I clearly loved this book. The story was something I really got caught up in and the characters were so well developed and written that you couldn’t question their existence; even if you did question their actions. Much love for Penelope Evans and I’m sure I’ll be picking up another of her books in the future. 4/5 for this one