Thursday, 24 March 2016

Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks


Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks
Published: 24th March 2016
Publisher: Red Door Publishing
Pages: 333
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

I don't know where you are...

I don't know what I've done...

Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters' room is completely empty. But the police think she's trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there's no choice other than face the future - alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth - and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks has one of those blurbs that just make you need to read the book because you just have to know what happened, it poses so many questions that need answers. What kind of mother leaves a child behind? How did this affect Abi? Did it affect the twins growing up? What kind of grandmother tells you to forget your own family? My head was spinning with questions and the more I read of this book the more complex and utterly brilliant it becomes as the answers begin to be revealed the more I just had to keep reading.
The story begins in 2001 when seventeen year old Abi arrives home one day to find her mother and stepsisters and all their belongings have vanished. Where have they gone and why? Abi is devastated when her grandmother tells her it would be best for her to move on and forget them, but how can you do that? Fourteen years later and Abi needs some answers as the only way forward is to embrace the past and work out the truth.
What I loved most about this book was that we get to hear about events from a number of perspectives as we have narrative from Kathryn, Hannah, Lauren and Abi with snippets from Peter and Eleanor. Abi’s narrative is particularly moving as it’s told through letters to her husband Adam and it’s very emotional and its obvious Abi has not had an easy life, even before her mother’s disappearance. Despite being so many characters and point of view they all fitted together to form a cohesive story with had me gripped until the very end.
Each of the characters had their own personalities to distinguish them, making them feel very real. Some of them I liked, some I didn’t. Eleanor was very controlling and driven, showing no real emotion towards any member of her family and I just didn’t like her. Kathryn I found to be weak and I so wanted her to be strong and make her own decisions. Abi was just longing to belong and find some love from somewhere. The twins Hannah and Lauren couldn’t be more different, Hannah longs to escape the clutches of her family and experience the world away from the bay, whereas Lauren is happy to plod along following the rules and trying to keep the peace between her mother and Lauren.
Beneath the Surface is a novel full of secrets, with more being unravelled in every chapter, it’s full of twists and unexpected surprises which had me completely hooked. I loved everything about this book the complex characters, the secrets, the way everything came together at the end.
I want to thank Heidi and her publishers for sending me a copy to review, I loved this book and think Heidi has done a fantastic job writing her debut novel, I really hope there’s more to come. I’d like to rate Beneath the Surface 5 out of 5, it was just brilliant!

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