I usually try not to read any reviews about a book before I read it myself, particularly if I’m going to be writing a review. Because I’m ridiculously obsessive about adding ‘what I’m reading’ into Goodreads however, I sometimes get an accidental glance at someone else’s review.
Which was the case with One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis, because the first review under the book listing started with someone mentioning that they didn’t guess the twist at the end.
So… I knew there was a twist and spent much of the book trying to guess what it might be. Grrrr….
Had I been reading crime fiction or a thriller I would have expected some trickery, but… though full of suspense and unanswered questions, One Step Too Far wasn’t quite like that. And fortunately, I didn’t predict the ‘big reveal’ either.
When we first meet Emily Coleman she’s left her life and family behind and heading to London and a new life, as Catherine.
Fortune smiles on Emily / Catherine as she finds an unexpected friend and supporter in a decrepit share house and stumbles into a job that will become a new career.
Catherine becomes Cat and she finds she’s almost able to forget what she left behind thanks to her new life in London, new friends and a newfound reliance on drugs and alcohol to keep memories at bay.
Back in Manchester however, her family struggles to understand why a woman who was once a wife and mother would walk away and we learn more about Emily/Catherine/Cat’s childhood and how she fell in love with her husband, Ben.
Unsurprisingly Cat’s world falls in a big heap and she realises that she will have no choice but to confront her past and the events that caused her to run away from her old life.
I enjoyed a lot about this novel from Tina Seskis. I was keen to know more about Emily’s story and was found myself feeling certain I could predict the plot twist (again and again).
I wasn’t right of course.
I did feel there was a bit of extraneous detail in the novel which didn’t really add to the plot or background, such as much of the storyline around Cat’s new friend Angel. And we probably didn’t need what was essentially TWO epilogues (at 3 and 10 year intervals).
However, the need to understand why Emily left her life to become Cat makes this book hard to put down. It also feeds the fantasy that many of us have had (surely it can’t just be me?!) about starting afresh.
One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis is published by Penguin Australia and available from 26 March 2014.