At the age of seventeen, some people breeze through life. They know what they want to do in the future, and how to go about the process of achieving that. There are others who flounder- not sure what their goal is. Then there are still more who are partially sorted, with only a few kinks that they might need to iron out to reach success.
Georgia Turner fits into the latter category- she knows she wants to move to the city and attend college there after she graduates from Fairbridge, and she’s hoping that her passion for and skill at fell-running (a kind of cross-country racing event) will win her a sponsorship with the local sports store. But, despite these solid plans, she’s hiding a secret which could ruin everything if it’s revealed. Desperate to get this secret off her chest, Georgia plans on sharing with her cousin and best friend Sophia (who has been slightly distant over the last few weeks) hoping to unburden herself and bring them closer as a result. But on the night she is set to reveal all, the girls are involved in a hit and run, and Sophia is left fighting for her life. Traumatised by the incident, Georgia now has to hold onto her secret for a little longer.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s mother Anya and father Callum are having difficulties of their own. Anya, a school psychologist at Fairbridge, and Callum, a senior ranking volunteer at the Mountain Rescue depot of Fellmere, have slowly grown apart, as their dedication to their jobs increased and their dedication to one another decreased. With Georgia and her younger brother Zac their only mutual link over the last few years, the couple’s marriage is teetering on the brink of collapse. Add to this the dramas involving Georgia’s hit and run accident, and some secrets of their own, and the duo have just as many- if not more- problems. In comparison to the rest of his family, you’d think Zac’s life would be quite sedate. But when he discovers an incriminating photograph in Georgia’s bedroom- a photograph that is linked to her secret and could have grave repercussions if revealed- he, too, is thrown into the family turmoil. With Georgia’s secret in danger of going viral, she finds herself in serious trouble, where there could be fatal results. Will the family be able to put their tattered relationships aside to rally for one another when it matters most?
This novel focuses on the family dynamic, and the small negative instances that can increase in number until they overpower and crack open the relationships of those involved. Constantly hinting at the closeness the family once shared, the author is able to highlight the fractures that are now present, creating a greater sense of urgency when things start to fall apart for the Turner family. The narrative of the story is shared amongst the family members, so that the reader is able to see things from each point of view, and see how their secrets impact on the others (even if they aren’t aware of it). While the story is essentially Georgia’s, Anya’s narrative is the only one written in the first person- everyone else’s parts are portrayed in the third person. Perhaps the author is trying to emphasise Anya’s plight at being unable to understand the workings of her husband and children, despite being a qualified psychologist. Perhaps she is trying to tell the reader that no matter how well you think you know people, there is always an element of mystery and uncertainty. Whatever the case, this novel is very well written and will keep you engrossed until the end. The details of Georgia’s secret aren’t revealed until late into the novel, so that the reader is kept in the dark almost as much as Georgia’s family is. With drama aplenty and the subtle elements of a thriller, this makes for quite the interesting read.