“Lily may not be a perfect mother, but she thinks she is. With her middle daughter, Rachel, her attitude is my way or the highway. Rachel, clever and pretty, is wasting her life in a humdrum job and endless partying. Drink, drugs and sex, always with unsuitable men, leave her at rock bottom. So, Lily hires Amber, a renowned therapist with an excellent reputation amongst her well off middle class friends with wayward children. Amber makes a marvellous first impression. Rachel trusts her, even adores her, and the therapy seems to work – she even gets sober and starts to be more responsible. But Amber’s hold over her is sinisterly shown at a special therapy retreat she invites Rachel to at Christmas. A shady counsellor specialises in regression therapy and convinces Rachel that her mother was unbelievably cruel to her in a past life. This breaks Rachel, and eventually the rest of her family.
As you’ll have gathered from Judy’s review, this book show-cases a lot of woke woo-woo therapy, and how dangerous it can be. This pacy novel is about manipulation in all its forms. Rachel is not only Amber’s victim, but also Lily’s. A family secret involving Rachel’s father is the reason she’s gone off the rails. Lily knows the secret is true, but to keep the peace, and her perfect family credentials, Lily tells Rachel she’s wrong about her suspicions, which leads to the girl’s destructive behaviour. So, Lily is manipulative, Amber is manipulative, and Rachel is their victim. Until the very satisfying end.
This a fast-twisty novel to be read in one sitting – perfect for a weekend break, or a lazy holiday.