Published by : Corvus
Copy - ARC received from publisher
You went to bed at home, just like every other night.
You woke up in the back of a taxi, 300 miles away.
You have no memory of the last ten hours.
You have a suicide note in your coat pocket, in your own writing.
You know you weren’t planning to kill yourself.
Your family and friends think you are lying.
Someone knows exactly what happened to you.
But they’re not telling…
The Very Pink Notebook Review
Lucy Dawson has a very distinctive writing style and her new novel, Everything You Told Me, sticks to this successful formula. Earlier this year I read, The Letter You Sent, and spent my reading time with my heart beating that little bit faster, my eyes scanning the words and paragraphs and pages quickly as I tried to get to the bottom of the complete and utter muddle the protagonist found herself in - and I did exactly the same with this novel.
The protagonist is this novel is Sally. An exhausted mother of two to Chloe and Theo and wife to Matthew. Sally is happy with her life but with a pre-schooler and a six month old who refuses to sleep, combined with a stressed-out-with-work husband, sometimes she finds it testing. However, Sally refuses to believe she tried to kill herself which is where the novel starts.
We are taken on the journey directly through the eyes of Sally via a first person narrative. Whether she is a reliable narrator or not, is for the reader to decide themselves, but I decided she was, because although everything could been seen as very clear and straight-forward I did believe her version of events and her justifications for certain things. Again, like the previous novel of Dawson's, events happen over a fairly short timescale and so are quite intense and although there is not a lot of action as such - Sally is just trying to make and keep everything 'normal' for the sake of the children - our protagonist is forced to try and investigate matters herself when no one seems to want to listen to a word she says.
Sally is surrounded by 'helpful' family members, all saying they want the best for her. Who does really want this is anybody's guess as they all seem to have their own agenda. Sally finds herself in a complete muddle, as does the reader, and ends up questioning everyone, including herself. Sometimes I wished more information would come to light sooner, I found a few chapters a little repetitive but, having said that, they were quite helpful in reiterating / clarifying what had happened so far.
I did work out part of the ending fairly early on, but by all means not the entirety and depth of it. I liked the character of Sally and Matthew, particularly given their stressful and quite common lifestyle, some of the other characters I found a little unrealistic but not so much to the point that it spoiled the book for me.
If you like a muddling, nail-biter then you will enjoy this latest offering from Lucy Dawson.
The Very Pink Notebook gives Everything You Told Me :