“Who are you Dorothy? Who were you before you became Ma?”
We often find it hard to believe that the adults in our lives had once been young, with hopes and dreams very much like the ones we have today. Sometimes, we don’t start wondering about such issues until it is too late, and the secrets of their pasts are buried along with them forever. The main protagonist is one such daughter who doesn’t start digging until her mother is on her deathbed. The plot revolves around her trying to find out about her mother’s past, before marriage and children, and the more she discovers, the more she is unable to recognise the woman her mother used to be, and with very good reason. What may that reason be? You gotta read it to find out.
I went into this book expecting very little; I thought it would be slow and boring and I would be enticed by a secret till the last page which will turn out to be silly. Boy, I was wrong.
As the story progressed, I began to care less about the secret and more about the story. Each character was so real, flawed and relatable, it was easy to get invested in their lives, to just know about them. They make mistakes; they sabotage beautiful things by being greedy and selfish just like we do. It is devastating to see how the characters messed up their lives but you feel less alone and there is a reassurance that humans will always make mistakes and there is no point in holding on to what could have been, as it will all work out for the best.
Although it was a great read throughout, without the twist at the end, it wouldn’t have been as perfect as it is. It was unexpected and subtle, and it blew my mind. The pace was quite consistent, it did not get boring at all, and the transition between multiple plotlines and periods of time was executed splendidly. Kate Morton’s writing is incredible, and at the same time very simple. I usually don’t read historical fiction but I’m so glad I gave this a chance as it exceeded my expectations and left me feeling very satisfied.
Kashfia Hassan loves to write professionally and for fun.