Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Penguin
With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book.
Joni, Trina, Deb and Eden.
Best friends since the first day of school. Best friends, they liked to say, forever.
But now they are in their thirties and real life - husbands, children, work - has got in the way. So, resurrecting their annual trip away, Joni has an idea, something to help them reconnect.
Each woman will write an anonymous letter, sharing with their friends the things that are really going on in their lives.
But as the confessions come tumbling out, Joni starts to feel the certainty of their decades-long friendships slip from her fingers.
Anger. Accusations. Desires. Deceit.
And then she finds another letter. One that was never supposed to be read. A fifth letter. Containing a secret so big that its writer had tried to destroy it. And now Joni is starting to wonder, did she ever really know her friends at all?
Wow, so this is an intensely gripping read; I couldn't put it down so I got nothing useful done today!
The story follows Joni and her best friends since high school, Deb, Trina and Eden. They have gone away for a girls' holiday which is something they try to do every year but Joni is worried that they may be growing apart so she has the idea that they write anonymous letters confessing their secrets. This is when things get really interesting. As the secrets emerge and Joni tries to guess who wrote each letter she finds a fifth letter which changes the way she views her friends entirely.
This is a complex story which is cleverly written, with parts of the fifth letter embedded in the story, keeping you guessing who it might be written by. The story is also led by Joni talking to a priest as she tries to work out who wrote the fifth letter. I did find it a little random that she went to a priest for confession to discuss this (as the character is not religious) but it did work well in the story. Nicola Moriarty also used flashbacks and subtle red herrings very effectively. She kept me guessing right to the very end!
The characters were largely likeable despite everything going on and I was invested in their friendship and their history. The author made their interactions very natural and entertaining.
This is a fantastic read and it was made even better by the compelling way the events came to a shocking conclusion.
This gets 5 out of 5 from me and I will definitely be looking to read more books by Nicola.
Nicola Moriarty lives in Sydney's north west with her husband and two small daughters. She is the younger sister of bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Jaclyn Moriarty. In between various career changes, becoming a mum and studying teaching at Macquarie University, she began to write. Now, she can't seem to stop.