Emily made a mistake, a mistake midwifes can’t afford to make. Escaping to her dad’s home in Devon to regroup and check in on him – his dementia has been worsening, and her guilt along with it – she is surprised when a beautiful stranger answers the door. Francoise is her dad’s new carer, but Emily’s father seems to have deteriorated under her care.
Emily doesn’t trust Francoise – but she doesn’t trust herself either. Each has a secret. And one of them will kill to keep it…
I have read and really enjoyed many of Jane Corry’s previous novels – they always provide some tension, mystery and intriguing characters.
We All Have Our Secrets offers this too, but something about the story or perhaps the characters just felt a bit flat for me.
We follow Emily, a midwife who is suspended from work after she makes a mistake with a delivery. She heads out of London to the countryside where her father lives, but is surprised to find a young French woman living there… she says she’s been employed by Emily’s father to look after him, and he backs her up, but is that really all there is to it…?
The first half of We All Have Our Secrets really drew me in. I was interested in finding out whether Francoise was quite who she said she was, and if midwife Emily was right to be SO suspicious of her. Things certainly don’t se to add up. I have to admit that, although I did like Emily and could see where she was coming from, I found her quite rude and abrasive at times.
The story felt fairly slow at times but there was enough mystery and glimpses of the characters’ history to keep me intrigued. We flick between chapters told from the perspectives of Emily and Francoise and we go back to 1945 for short chapters from Emily’s father.
I felt like the plot cooled off a bit in the second half – it felt less tight and it seemed to lose its urgency. Although this book isn’t necessarily a fast paced novel anyway, the character studies kept me interested in the first half but I felt this tailed off a bit as the novel continued.
Overall I did enjoy this novel but it didn’t live up to the gripping nature of her other novels. It’s OK, but not amazing…
My rating: 3/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Penguin, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.