When She Returned by Lucinda Berry
One woman’s reappearance throws her family into turmoil, exposing dark secrets and the hidden, often devastating truth of family relationships.
Kate Bennett vanished from a parking lot eleven years ago, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. When she shows up at a Montana gas station, clutching an infant and screaming for help, investigators believe she may have been abducted by a cult.
Kate’s return flips her family’s world upside down—her husband is remarried, and her daughter barely remembers her. Kate herself doesn’t look or act like she did before.
While the family tries to help Kate reintegrate into society, they discover truths they’ve been hiding from each other about their own relationships. But they aren’t the only ones with secrets. As the family unravels what happened to Kate, a series of shocking revelations shows that Kate’s return is more sinister than any of them could have imagined.
This is definitely not my usual type of book - but it's good to venture into something different at times - I only came across it when it popped up on my Kindle as an advert. Something about the title intrigued me (I can't remember what now) and reading more about it made me more intrigued, so I borrowed it.
It's a powerful book, an interesting book, it deals well with the subject of people who get lured into cults and what can happen if they return home. It zips along at quite the pace and the author doesn't waste words nor does she go into a great deal of description; there is no padding in this book and no long descriptive passages about the home, the characters, etc. but I never once felt detached nor did I feel I didn't have a grip on the characters or where they lived, etc.
Once Kate comes home I had no idea at all how the book could have any kind of happy ending, I didn't even think it could have a properly resolved ending. But it does.
I'm not sure if it was how the author wrote Kate or what it was, but I wasn't enamoured of her from the off; I didn't really like her. However, I cared about what happened, I cared as to why she went away and how she went away. And I was caught up with the family and their life.
The ending did come as a big shock, but not a total one. I had an inkling that something wasn't quite what it seemed as the book went on. That said, the actual reveal was indeed real shock and one that was completely believable.
It's not a book I would reread; for me it's not a book I could reread, because the impact would be lost. Also, despite loving the author's writing style, I don't think I shall be reading any more of her books. As I say at the beginning it isn't my usual kind of book and whilst venturing into something new, it's not something I'd like to do all of the time. It is a book I am glad I have read and a book I would recommend if this kind of psychological thriller (I guess that's what it is).