The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kyra Winthrop and her husband, Jacob, are headed to live on a remote island (in the house where Jacob grew up) to get away from it all. Kyra recently suffered a head injury in a diving accident; she hit her head on a rock and while Jacob saved her, she cannot remember the past four years of her life and is having trouble with her current ability to retain things. Kyra and Jacob hope time away, in a quiet place, will let Kyra--and her memory--heal. But once on the island, Kyra begins to remember more and more. About the accident and about her past. She has no one to rely on but Jacob, who tells her much of what she remembers are only dreams. But Kyra is convinced it's more. And what about the shadowy third figure she continually recalls from their diving accident? Kyra isn't sure who to trust, even herself, as she tries to unfold her past and recall not only her accident, but who she has been for the past four years.
This was a fascinating book that really took the premise of the "unreliable" narrator to a whole new level. What I enjoyed the most is that we learned the bits and pieces about Kyra's life, and who she was, just as she did. This made the novel very suspenseful and helped make up for any points where it seemed a little unbelievable (e.g., only forgetting exactly these 4 crucial years, no Internet on the island except at their home, etc.), or where the story felt a bit flat. Kyra is our main character, and she's interesting and complicated, with her memory loss and unknown past. She's truly trying to find out who she is. The others in the novel, mainly Jacob and a few island residents, aren't exactly characters you form an attachment to. Still, I found the book captivating and basically read the second half in one sitting: it's a very fast read, and you become easily drawn into Kyra's world.
I found the ending to be a little easy and pat, but I still enjoyed watching all the pieces come together (even if I'd guessed some of them already). The novel really truly does a masterful job at creating intrigue into Kyra's past and the various parts of her life, and how she has arrived on this remote island with Jacob (don't want to give anything away). It's a little eerie, a little creepy, and a little haunting. It was sort of a fun version of a Lifetime movie--one that had me hooked and enjoying the plot, versus rolling my eyes and changing the channel--and because I so enjoyed seeing everything come together and racing through the end of the book, it pushed my rating up to 4 stars. If you're looking for a quick suspense read, it's definitely worth picking this one up.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss (thank you!); it is available everywhere as of 12/27/2016.
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