My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Publisher - Penguin
Pages - 496
Blurb from Goodreads
When Eva Patterson returns home from work one day, a devastating scene awaits her. Her mother, Flora, lies dead in the bath. Beside her is a note saying only: 'Forgive Me'.
Until then, Eva always believed her family's life would be comfortable and secure - but Flora's suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that in her will Flora left her an artist's studio in London, she realises how little she knows about her mother's past.
When Eva visits the now derelict studio, she is shocked to find out that her mother was once a successful artist back in the 1960s. A chance encounter leads her to Phil, who agrees to help her restore the studio, as well as offering her the advice and friendship Eva so badly needs.
In the studio attic she finds a collection of Flora's paintings and old diaries, which Eva believes were purposely left for her to find. Searching for answers, Eva encounters a psychic who mysteriously warns her to beware of a 'sleeping serpent', which she soon discovers refers to a shocking crime in Flora's past.
Will discovering the truth destroy Eva's belief in everything she holds dear? And will Phil stand by Eva even when her journey leads her and those she loves into certain danger?
The story opens with a shocking suicide, a simple note left behind saying forgive me. Eva's whole life is turned upside down, she is only 16 and in the wake of her mothers death some family secrets are revealed. Eva finds herself with no choice but to go to the studio her mother left her in London. Here she finds a whole other side to who her mother was and more family secrets.
This story packs a punch from the beginning, a sixteen year old girl finding herself alone and grieving as her family are so wrapped up in themselves. Meeting a variety of people along the way, nice and not so nice and we get to watch a young girl bloom and grow into a woman and deal with the after effects of her mothers suicide.
This tale covers so many topics, personal growth, betrayal, secrets, love, death, family relationships to name a few. The story keeps the reader engaged and I couldn't wait to here more about Flora and what else Eva might discover about her. I felt a little annoyed nearing the end with Eva and how events turned quite suddenly with no prior warning or hinting. However it didn't take anything away from the story as I enjoyed it before and after that segment. I would recommend this if you are a fan or if you are just starting out with Lesley Pearse, this is as good as any to start with. I think she has a fabulous style of writing and really enjoy her work, 5/5 for me this time.