If She Did It by Jessica Treadway
|If She Did It by Jessica Treadway|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Hanna and her husband were attacked in their bed on the night after Thanksgiving. Joe died and Hanna had no memory of the night. Was her daughter, Dawn involved and how will she cope now that Dawn has returned home to live? Engaging and very readable.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: December 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
Hanna and Joe had two daughters. Iris, the elder, had done well at school and gone on to be a medical student, but Dawn had always struggled. Hanna worried that it was something to do with the birth when Dawn might have been starved of oxygen for a brief moment. She was never bright, bullied at school and suffered from amblyopia or lazy eye. Dawn called it 'lacy eye'. In her late teens she had a boyfriend - tall, good-looking Rud and was obviously besotted with him and brought him home for Thanksgiving, but the pair left the next morning under a cloud with Joe accusing Rud of having stolen from the house whilst everyone else was out. That night Hanna and Joe were attacked in their beds; Joe died from his injuries and Hanna was left severely scarred and with no memory of the events of that night.
Rud was tried and convicted of Joe's murder. Immediately after the attack Hanna had indicated that Rud and Dawn were responsible, but was unable to substantiate the comments (made when it looked as though she might die) when she recovered from surgery. She was probably the only one who didn't later believe that Dawn was involved and was determined to make the best of it when - three years after that dreadful night - Dawn returned home to live and Rud obtained a retrial. Hanna knew that if she was to keep Rud in jail she had to try to remember what happened that night.
It's a very compelling story and whilst it's easy to think that Hanna should have doubts about Dawn it's easy to see why she is doing her best to put them to one side and believe in Dawn. She never had it easy, you see and even her parents thought that she was, well, weird. There didn't seem to be anything bad about her though and Hanna convinced herself that Dawn was 'easily led', 'suggestible' or 'lacking in confidence'. There's even a certain symmetry between Dawn's lazy eye and Hanna's scarring. Dawn's sister, Iris, thinks that Hanna is wrong-headed about Dawn's involvement in the attack and can't believe that Hanna has allowed Dawn to return to the family home.
You're pulled into the story, not least because of the character of Dawn. You sympathise with her - it can't have been easy having a bright older sister and having an obvious problem with her eye. She was always the easy butt of pranks and bullying. Were her lies just a way of covering up what happened to her at school? You're uncertain about why she's returned home: is it simply because she's maxed out her credit cards, or is there something more sinister behind it? You'll sway back and forth - believing that Hanna is brave to ignore what everyone is saying about her daughter and then foolhardy. It's superb.
I listened to an audio download of the book, narrated by Katherine Fenton and enjoyed every minute of it. The range of voices are captured perfectly - even the English accent for one (minor) character was captured well. Best of all was Dawn's voice, just on the edge of being whiney without ever quite going over it. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might enjoy Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and there's an audio download available too.
You could get a free audio download of If She Did It by Jessica Treadway with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy If She Did It by Jessica Treadway at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy If She Did It by Jessica Treadway at Amazon.com.
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