4 stars out of 5
Talk about dysfunctional people! Not a character here - with the exception of an infant - is without flaws, most of them dead serious. And now that I think about it, I'm far from sure that baby girl will turn out okay.
Central to this psychological drama are one-time "friends" Edie and Heather; the former is beautiful and popular, the latter, not so much. As the story begins, they've long since gone their separate ways; Edie - now in her mid-30s - is living alone, working as a waitress and pregnant. The father isn't in the picture at all, and after daughter Maya is born, Edie just can't handle dealing with her.
Enter Heather, who suspiciously appears at Edie's door at the perfect moment. No, Edie isn't happy to see her - their parting of the ways years earlier was, to put it mildly, less than pleasant. Edie is so emotionally fragile, though, that she comes to accept the help that Heather seems to give willingly. But as readers might suspect, it's much more complicated.
Chapters shift back and forth from the present to the days of their friendship. I'm not always a fan of that technique (one that's fast becoming overused, IMHO), but it works perfectly here as the author slowly and tantalizingly reveals details of Heather and Edie's roller-coaster relationship and the roles their families played in the whole scenario. I was chomping at the bit, for instance, to find out more about Heather's little sister and the get the nitty gritty on the quarry incident that caused the rift (make that a chasm) between the two girls. By the end, of course, I learned just about everything that happened back then - and none of it is pretty.
But that end - which, at 304 pages, came quickly - turned out to be not quite everything for me. Although the story is so engrossing that I had a tough time putting it down, I was left with a few niggling questions (none of which I can mention here without spoiling things for other readers). One or two I can chalk up to the story's taking place in England, where particular situations may be quite different from here in the US of A; but others left me scratching my head (hence 4 stars instead of 5). Still, this is a book well worth reading, and I thank the author and publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Watching Edie by Camilla Way (NAL, August 2016); 304 pp.