The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin

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The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Holly Lewtas
Reviewed by Holly Lewtas
Summary: This psychological thriller will leave you completely perplexed as you try to decipher what is and isn't real.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: August 2017
Publisher: Head of Zeus
ISBN: 978-1786694027

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What would life be like if you just packed up your things and left? This is a thought that the main protagonist Caitlyn has been mulling over for a while now but has never had the guts to do, until she reaches the final straw when her father fails at sobriety once again. After throwing her phone in a river, Caitlyn takes herself to the airport where she ends up getting a plane to New York. From there her life completely changes as she meets Jake who seems to be just what she needs. As they grow closer she is invited to meet his family, but, in a house surrounded by forest that is miles away from civilisation, family takes on a whole new meaning. There you live by the motto we are here for each other, and we are nothing without each other.

I find myself struggling to write this review as I am wholly overwhelmed by the twists and turns that take place throughout this book. You are essentially met with a story revolving around a cult that Caitlyn is swept up into. Yet what could be harmful about living in a place where you don't think about money or time but instead have your day divided up between mind, body, soul and yard work? Although sceptical at first, Caitlyn can't argue with the carefree nature of this idyllic lifestyle.

As a reader you are lulled into a false sense of security as you progress through this book. You know from the blurb that everything is not as it seems but you find yourself getting caught up in the story along with Caitlyn. You almost fall into the same trap as Caitlyn even though you both know in the back of your mind that something is not right with this place. It is this apprehension that we so often ignore which has grave consequences. However, as Caitlyn's thoughts start to deteriorate so do yours, you are constantly flitting between whether you are reading about a well thought out bootcamp or something much more sinister. This is all down to Emma Dibdin's phenomenal style of writing. You know from the onset that Caitlyn's mother suffered with schizophrenia and learn about some of the symptoms she experienced. Dibdin has a way of incorporating these symptoms into Caitlyn's character so cunningly that as a reader you almost don't make the connection. Just as Caitlyn struggles to do, it is hard to make sense of what is happening.

As a debut novel Emma Didbin completely exceeded all my expectations. She manages to highlight numerous topics throughout the book such as therapy, mental health difficulties and self harm with such a delicate approach which I think is rare to come across. With a lot of books I find writers trying too hard to bring in certain issues but Dibdin has clearly thought out every single connection that is made within the book and does not do any of these serious subjects an injustice. Every sentence of this book has a purpose. When you close this book you are left feeling satisfied knowing how things turned out, accepting of the fact that some things have been left untold and desperate to re-read it so that you can appreciate all the intricacies this book has to offer.

I truly did not realise that you could lose yourself so much in a book.

If you enjoyed this book as much as I did then I would recommend Amnesia by Michael Ridpath. You could also try The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton.

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Buy The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin at


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