A gripping tale of one woman’s path to recovery after suffering a terrible trauma; I refuse to believe this is Susanna Beard’s debut novel, gripping, compelling and highly recommended.
Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her best friend dead and her badly injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.
However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night?
As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along.
This book kept me turning pages well into the early AM. Beard keeps the story moving at a steady pace, the chapters are quite long [compared to the chapter lengths you usually find in this genre] but Beard does not waste paragraphs telling us unnecessary information, she details for us the interesting bits, what we want to know. And because there were no wasted words, I was gripped to this story and my interest never wavered, not even for a second.
Dare to Remember is a story that grabs you emotionally and pulls you into Lisa’s journey to recovery. This isn’t an edge-of-your-seat thriller but a deep and dark look at the how we can overcome trauma. Lisa struggles to recall events of the night her best friend, Ali, died and until she finds the truth she is unable to move on. Lisa is such a likeable character, you become so invested in her quest for the truth and it’s this quest that essentially keeps you turning pages because you know it’s the key to her recovery.
When Lisa befriends Jessica, who is overcoming her own difficulties, we see a beautiful friendship forming between the two women. Beard gives us a dark insight into the psychology of the relationships we form and the barriers we put up to protect ourselves.
The suspense Beard created throughout this read was immense and had me wishing I could read faster to find out how it would end, what really happened the night Ali died. I liked the conclusion of this story and thought it was the right ending to the story that was told, keeping it believable. Before reading this book, I didn’t see the tagline that is being used to market the book on some book sites – “Shocking. Page-Turning. Psychological Thriller” – I only read the blurb and was intrigued. If you read books based on the tagline, I must echo the words of my fellow reviewers, there is no shocking plot twist and this book is also being referred to as a Psychological Drama rather than Thriller. I only mention this because I would hate for you to think this books ending fell short because you were awaiting a grand reveal that shocked you, and it just did not come.
Beard states that she is fascinated by the psychology of relationships and the impact of events on people’s lives, and that is exactly what she delivers in this book; journey with Lisa as she reaches into the depths of her mind to recall past events and battles to overcome the lasting impact of that night that changed her entire life.
*My thanks to Lucy at Legend Press for providing me with a digital copy of this book*