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Close to Me    by Amanda Reynolds Amazon.com order for
Close to Me
by Amanda Reynolds
Order:  USA  Can
Quercus, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

After a bad fall (down the stairs) in her home, Jo Harding has no recollection of the last year of her life. When she's released from hospital, her husband Rob remains very caring and concerned - almost to the point of being controlling - but she's plagued by a feeling that he was close to her and that they were arguing at the top of the stairs just before the fall.

It soon becomes clear to Jo that a great deal changed in her family life in her lost year, and most was not good. She wants to reconstruct it all, but that proves difficult. Her phone has disappeared. Rob tells her that it was broken in the fall and that he'll get her a new one. Her daughter Sash's appearance, hair and makeup are very different from what she remembers. Rob tells Jo that Sash is living with Thomas, that they don't like him; he's a nightmare. Their son Fin has quit college and left home - why? And what else is Rob hiding from her?

Readers feel for Jo and share her intense curiosity about the past year. Moving back and forth in time, before and after the fall, we learn that she started to volunteer at a drop-in center (for the vulnerable who need help), and that she became close to Rose and Nick (the boss) there. When she finally reconnects with Rose, Jo finds out that she had considered leaving Rob - why? Who is the tall young man, whose smile she dreams about? And who is Rob, really?

Read Close to Me and you will find out, just as Jo eventually did. It's an intriguing psychological mystery that will keep you wondering.

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