Ali Morris is anxiously putting the finishing touches on her home as she and her husband, Mike prepare for weekend guests – the small group of friends they had from their days at the university in Oxford. It’s been years since they’ve seen one another, and Ali wants things to be just right.
The first guest to arrive is her best friend Karen, and her son Jake. Karen is a single parent, and before Mike & Ali moved away, they had been inseparable, and Jake was like a son to her. Next to arrive is Jodi & Callum, both high powered attorneys now, with Jodi due to deliver her first child in a month, and finally Bill, who comes alone having recently split from his girlfriend after a disagreement about children.
As the group re-connects and the alcohol starts flowing, old pictures come out, and the discussion turns to a young female classmate, Martha, who died in the university garden all those years ago. While the men revel in their youthful memories and ply themselves with alcohol late into the evening, Jodi & Ali head for bed.
It’s early AM when Ali awakens to screaming – she rushes downstairs along with Jodi to see Karen stagger into the house, bruised and bloody screaming that she’d been raped…and she accuses Mike of the attack, leaving Ali torn between believing her husband or her best friend. As the police investigate, Karen tells a compelling story, and Mike is arrested, while Ali’s perfectly organized life begins to quickly unravel.
Told from the current perspectives and college memories of the six friends, the reader quickly learns of hidden secrets, longings, betrayals, cover-ups, and ‘what-might-have-been’, leaving the reader wondering just who is telling the truth – if anyone. And what really happened to Martha all those years ago??
This was a great read, and it definitely kept me guessing up until the very end, although in retrospect, I should have figured it out… This one kept me up turning pages well into the night, and had me wondering…how well do we really know our friends??
I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.