My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 288
Publisher - Century
Blurb from Goodreads
You've been held captive in one room, mentally and physically abused every day, since you were sixteen years old.
Then, one night, you realize your captor has left the door to your cell unlocked.
For the first time in eight years, you're free.
This is about what happens next ...
Lily knows that she must bring the man who nearly ruined her life - her good-looking high-school teacher - to justice. But she never imagined that reconnecting with her family would be just as difficult. Reclaiming her relationship with her twin sister, her mother, and her high school sweetheart who is in love with her sister may be Lily's greatest challenge. After all they've been through, can Lily and her family find their way back after this life-altering trauma?
Impossible not to read in one sitting, Baby Doll is a taut psychological thriller that focuses on family entanglements and the evil that can hide behind a benign facade.
We open with Lily, Lily has been kidnapped, tortured, abused, beaten and trained for 3110 days, but today everything has changed. Lily finally has a chance to escape her torture chamber, this is Lily's story of what happens next once she is free. The story splits mostly between Lily, her mum Eve, her twin sister Abby and Rick her captor. The story looks at how everyone tries to adapt to finally have Lily home, coping with what happened, picking up as a family and each dealing with the demons Lily's kidnap brought forward for everyone involved.
This book kicks off pretty much from the first page, with Lily in captivity, you feel the fear and tension immediately as the character ways up the options for self preservation. Initially I was a bit worried we were getting another "Room" style novel as initially there were strong echoes of that book however you soon realize the two are very different. We follow Lily as she integrates back into her old life, her family and read along with each of their experiences and feelings. Rick is the bad guy, he doesn't get as much voice as the other characters and to be honest I would have liked to have heard more from him. The face of normality, hiding a psychopath and seeing or hearing more of his family life rather than just glimpses after the fact.
The book looks at societal reintegration, family struggles as each has both tried to move on and been trapped since their world was shaken and turned upside down. The glare, scrutiny and judgments of the media on such a high profile case and how that impacts upon the family. I found this book to draw the reader in, evoke emotion for almost all of the main characters and the underlying issues of not only Lily's plight but how everyone was affected by her disappearance and reappearance. Each chapter is headed with the individual whose perspective the tale is being told from so it is easy to follow. A strong debut novel, I will be looking out for more by this author, 4/5 for me this time.