Moriarty has a very specific style of storytelling. Her stories tend to be intricately woven slow-burners. This story is a perfect example of her particular style.
Nearly the entire length of the book is spent arriving at ‘the event’ and nearly all the interactions and characters are linked to said event. The before, the after and the duration of the traumatic event.
The truth is accidents happen. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. This could happen to anyone. It only takes one small moment, a few seconds or the blink of an eye and everything can change forever.
There is no such thing as a perfect person with the perfect life. Glass houses, as they say. The only difference is the severity of our mishaps and bad decisions.
Clementine needs to tell her mother to get a grip and get stuffed. Nothing is ever good enough and after the event Clementine needs support and not admonishments. From Erika’s point of view Pam is the surrogate mother who has kept her going. However Clementine just sees Pam as the woman who always treated her as second best. Being usurped by the pseudo daughter. Someone she never wanted to befriend in the first place.
The author really examines the friendship between the two women. It seems to be based on falsehoods and forced situations. The two of them keep up the pretence for themselves and Pam, almost as if it’s a routine and cycle they can’t get out of. Or is it really that straightforward?
I liked the way Moriarty approached this story like a jigsaw puzzle. Each person owns an important piece of the solution, and yet no one admits to it, which means in the end the truth still remains a secret to the majority of the participants.