Another Orion blogger blast coming to you this evening, this time it’s for ‘The Night Before’ by Wendy Walker. Once again I want to say a massive thank you to Alainna and Team Orion for asking me to be involved in these blasts. It has been such an honour and I hope you enjoy reading my review!
Rosie Ferro and Laura Heart are sisters, but as different as it is possible to be. One is lucky in love and has a conventional family: a husband, and a small son. The other has a troubled past she is still struggling to break free from.
When Laura disappears after going on a date with a stranger she met online, Rosie, her protector since they were young, springs into action to look for her. But as she slowly uncovers more about the situation, Rosie begins to fear that her sister might have been more of a danger than the man she went out with.
Told in duel timelines – the night of and the night before, Wendy Walker’s new novel is a riveting examination of family loyalty, obsession, and how just how far we will go for love.
What does TWG think?
Well, well, well! What an interesting read!! I wasn’t too taken with the storyline at first as I just couldn’t sink my teeth into the book deep enough to fall under its spell. The thing about ‘The Night Before’, in my opinion, is that it’s a very slow burning novel which increases its levels of suspense ever so slightly with each turn of the page. Do not, under any circumstance, let the fact that the book starts off exceptionally slow whilst also setting the scene in a dot the i’s, cross the t’s sort of way, put you off. I am so glad that I kept an open mind with Wendy Walker’s new book as my goodness, the wait is definitely worth it!
I kept looking at Rosie’s surname wondering why I was always hungry every time it caught my eye – I stupidly thought it said Ferrero…..after the chocolate! What a numpty! Anyway, back to the book….
Laura is an intriguing character. She is often treated with kid gloves by her sister, Rosie, as its like Laura cannot be trusted to live life on her own terms. Obviously I had no idea whether that actually was the case or not, as it took a little while for Laura’s past to become apparent, but even then, there were quite a few gaps in the story. Don’t fret though, those gaps are filled by the end of the book. Now, whether they will be filled in the way that you think they should be, remains to be seen. Did I see it coming? No. I genuinely didn’t. It wasn’t until I had reached 80% of the book that the puzzle pieces started to fit together, but even then I wasn’t sure what to believe knowing just how brilliant Wendy Walker was at leading her readers into a false sense of security.
‘The Night Before’ is a dual timeline read of the night before, and the night after, whilst also switching between both Laura’s and Rosie’s lives. It works. It really does. Yes, the thing about different timelines is that they can end up making readers confused, but I found that this book did the complete opposite. Instead of being confused by the to-ing and fro-ing, I felt invigorated by the snippets of new information that were being dropped by the author each time. It was very cleverly done and, unfortunately for me, enabled my mind to switch camps like nobodies business. Whose camp do you think you’ll be in? Rosie’s? Laura’s? Neither?
I was absolutely hooked by Wendy Walker’s atmospheric storytelling! At times nothing seemed to make sense, and then all of a sudden, everything made complete sense. ‘The Night Before’ is a novel which changes its stance, so to speak. You might feel that you know where the book is heading at the beginning, yet before you can say ‘omg!’, the author changes the direction of the storyline and leaves you wondering what on earth to believe next.
Slow burning it may be, but boring and predictable it definitely is NOT! A psychologically twisted, complex and sinister novel – I can guarantee that, the morning after you will be thinking about ‘The Night Before’.