It happens too early, too suddenly and leaves too many questions unanswered. Rebecca has only the vaguest memories of her mother, who died when she was still very young, and her younger sister, Sarah, doesn't remember her at all. Any time they've tried to broach the subject of how their mother actually died, their father changed the subject and their Aunt Peggy blows up into a rage at the very mention of her.
So now, as well as grieving for her father, Rebecca is devastated that she will now never learn the truth about her mother's death. In the days leading up to the funeral, realising that the only way she'll find anything out is by making her own investigation, she takes off to the Highland village where they lived until she was four and starts asking questions. She finds out there's a reason why her dad never spoke of her mum's death and, probing deeper, uncovers something that has profound implications for her family - something that, if Rebecca has any sense, she will never speak of. But her nosing around in this village has not gone unnoticed. Out of the various people she's given her mobile number to, which one presents the greatest danger?
Following up the acclaimed The Ties That Bind and Kiss The Bullet with terrific aplomb, Scottish journalist turned novelist Catherine Deveney places equal importance on family dynamics and a sense of mystery in this book, coming up with a pacey, approachable novel with plenty of psychological and emotional weight. She keeps us intrigued at every stage, eager to keep reading and find out more, while building up a multi-layered portrait of Rebecca.
A free spirit whose freedom has only led to confusion, a woman unable to have a healthy relationship as she's haunted by her sole taste of pure, uncorrupted love - and increasingly, a daughter who finds her family closing ranks against her - Rebecca makes for a sympathetic, but brittle, leading character with an affecting story to tell about the dangers of holding on too tightly to the past.