I've read a few of P.D. James' books, so when I saw this one I was confident I'd enjoy it. It was a different book to what I'd expected, but still kept me hooked to the end.
Philippa, adopted at the age of eight, begins the search for her past to find out who the ‘real’ Philippa is. The discovery of her parent’s identities changes her life and her perception of her adoptive family, as secrets kept hidden slowly reveal themselves. The plans of someone seeking revenge lead to an unexpected final twist, finishing the story in an unexpected way.
This is the first P.D. James book I’ve read that hasn’t featured her famous detective, Adam Dalgliesh. It had a similar feel to those ones as it is well written and the suspense built right to the end. I had difficulty relating to most of the characters and didn’t find them likable. They were, however, easy to perceive as real. I kept reading though, as the story itself is compelling, and I needed to know how it ended. When it did finish, it left me a little bit disappointed, but it was in keeping with the characters themselves, which was also satisfying, in its way. I also didn’t like the way the adoptive father regarded Philippa - it left me with a distaste for the book (I won’t elaborate as I don’t want to give anything away).
If you like a well-crafted story full of psychological turns and suspense, and good description, this is for you.
My rating: 3.5/5
At eighteen, Philippa Palfrey, the confident adopted daughter of a celebrated academic, exercises her right to find the names of her real parents. What she uncovers is a terrible secret that will for ever change her life.
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