Quick review for a quick read. “Only Ever You” by Rebecca Drake is the first novel I’ve read in this author’s bibliography. It was definitely a page turner. I found it difficult to tear myself away from this book wanting to know what happened next in the overarching mystery. The story centers around the disappearance of a girl named Sophia, causing a downward spiral on an already testy household for her parents Jill and David.
Jill is one of the narrators in this novel, and one can tell how flawed her character is from the beginning of the book. She has a hectic time as a mother and trying to make ends meet in the career she’s set for herself while her husband’s job keeps him away for long stretches of time and social engagements. She’s at her wits end in some respects. A near miss kidnapping involving Sophia has Jill and David on high alert, but there are other secrets that keep their tentative relationship on its ends.
It’s when Sophia disappears that everything falls apart. The second perspective in the novel is Bea, a woman whose identity isn’t clear from the beginning, but the reader can tell she’s the one who abducted Sophia. The question remains as to why. Combine that with confessional letters that are interspersed through the narrative from an unknown source, and you have the three perspectives that compose this novel. It flows very smoothly, and the tension between the characters is very palpable. There were quite a few times when I found it hard to suspend my disbelief in the way certain things happened (not so much in that they might occur as it was the WAY they occurred in succession). I suspected that someone close to Jill’s family had something to do with Sophia’s disappearance, but the narrative threw a number of curveball revelations, some of which did quite well in the context of the novel. But I think the number curveballs were one too many in the end, to the point where the story somewhat suffered under the weight/mass of them.
I did like the novel on the whole though, and it makes me curious to read more of Rebecca Drake’s work.
Overall score: 3/5 stars.
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley from the publisher.