I downloaded this book onto my e-Reader some time before my Italian holiday, along with a few other books, planning to do some reading while away. As it happened however, I didn’t even turn my iPad on until my flight home…. over 3wks after I’d left.
I didn’t remember seeing this book as a hard copy on offer for review but requested an electronic copy when it started to appear everywhere and thank god I did as it helped one of the two legs of my flights from Rome to Brisbane pass really quickly.The Sunday Girl
by Pip Drysdale
Published by Simon & Schuster AU
on September 1st 2018
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Thriller / Suspense
Any woman who’s ever been involved with a bad, bad man and been dumped will understand what it feels like to be broken, broken-hearted and bent on revenge. Taylor Bishop is hurt, angry and wants to destroy Angus Hollingsworth in the way he destroyed her: Insidiously. Irreparably. Like a puzzle, he’d slowly dissembled … stolen a couple of pieces from, and then discarded, knowing that nobody would ever be able to put it back together ever again. So Taylor consulted The Art of War and made a plan. Then she took the next step – one that would change her life forever.
Then things get really out of control – and The Sunday Girl becomes impossible to put down.
Drysdale’s interjections from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War are clever and offer something different to what we’d usually expect to find in a novel about relationships-gone-bad. And I must admit I initially thought this ride was going to be hosted by an arrogant and psychopathic protagonist; and I felt a bit meh about that.
They’ve kinda been done to death haven’t they?
So I was relieved when Taylor isn’t actually the deranged nutcase / stalker I initially expected her to be.
Because the novel is circular in a sense (ie. starts at the end and then jumps backwards) we meet Taylor after the events have unfolded and she’s fairly unapologetic. And at first she does seem to just be the spurned girlfriend who (presumably) turns into a bunny boiler. But…
Sure she talks the big talk but she’s really just someone in over her head and we quickly learn her beloved Angus – with whom she’s just broken up when we meet her – is actually far from someone who deserves our sympathy. Drysdale doesn’t really hide Angus’s true nature or the complexities of their relationship…
My feelings for Angus were always like that: tangled and complicated. Love tinged with fear. Rage laced with longing. And the sadness of what we’d become, always giving way to the hope that we might somehow find our way back.
Drysdale also does a great job at inserting an eerie sense of foreboding at various stages throughout the novel.
I read this in an easy sitting over just a few hours (even while scoffing my Emirates Airlines gluten free meal of dry chicken breast, carrot, peas & rice*) and very much loved that Taylor (and Angus’s) fortunes turned on a knife edge so we were kept guessing as to who was playing who and – of course – who might emerge victorious.
If I was being really picky I could mention that I was slightly confused by the information Angus leaks and uses. I mean, sure Taylor’s caught up in the mess but I wasn’t sure it entirely made sense or if there was more to it – the who, why, when etc…
I also pondered over the inclusion of an extra twist at the end…. But it wasn’t forthcoming and that was fine as I probably would have felt a little cheated had it appeared.
This was a surprisingly addictive read and I think Drysdale does a great job of creating a complex and likeable lead. I also very much enjoyed the support cast on offer, and Taylor’s friend Charlotte, (boss) Val and her mother all seemed like realistic characters.
I should mention there’s an underlying theme of emotional (and physical) abuse and it’s one Drysdale confronts head-on but sympathetically.
It seemed that no matter where I turned, no matter whom I trusted, men lied to me. And it had always been that way. Starting with my father.
Because of him, my life was an endless quest in search of a happy ending for which I would endure anything.
The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale was published in Australia by Simon & Schuster and is now available.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.
* #spoileralert: I chopped the chicken up and added the side salad olive oil dressing to main meal so it was more like (ahem) ‘moist’ fried rice. (In case you were wondering!)