But with Mikey working offshore, the frightening isolation of the Aberdeenshire countryside begins to drive her insane...
That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.
She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?
As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears...
A hauntingly intelligent, addictive psychological thriller from debut author S. E. Lynes.
About the Author: After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London for a couple of years before moving to Aberdeen. In Aberdeen, she worked as a reporter, researcher and finally a producer at the BBC before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome.
In Rome, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.
She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington.
Her debut novel, Valentina, will be published by Blackbird July 1st 2016. It is a psychological thriller set in Aberdeenshire.
My Review: This book has easily become my favorite book of 2016! I don't know what else to say besides, WOW. I am seriously going to recommend it to ALL of my friends, I'm that excited about it.
Shona McGilvery is a stay at home mum in love with her perfect little life. Perfect baby, perfect fairy-tale cottage in the woods and perfect partner. But as the story digs deeper, we soon discover that everything is not so perfect in Shona's life. For starters, her husband works off-shore leaving her alone in her new home in a new town to care for their infant daughter, with no neighbors, no wifi signal and no friends. She's basically cut-off from the world until her partner, Mikey returns from his two weeks on, two weeks off job. Half of his life is spent away from her and his family and Shona can't seem to accept that. She's terribly alone and cannot adapt to her new life...until she meets Valentina D'Angelo. That's when things get really strange, and that's when the story begins to spiral into an oblivion of question after question.
Who is this Valentina D'Angelo?
Is she the charismatic yoga teacher she's led Shona to believe, or is she more?
A slightly obsessive lesbian with an eye out for Shona?
An imaginary friend Shona's created in her mind to refrain from complete loneliness?
A ghost, perhaps?
A mistress to Shona's partner?
All of these questions were swarming through my mind like an angry pack of bee's. I just needed to know. Something was off about Valentina, I felt it and Shona felt it, but to place it was the troubling part. The end came crashing down and while I suspected some of it, I have to say I was still very surprised. The twists and turns of this story were more exciting that any roller coaster I have been on.
I am sure that I will read this book again because this is the type of book that you MUST go back and reread to fully comprehend the entire story. It's an engaging psychological thriller that I could seriously not put down. I am going to have trouble finding another story that compares. SE Lynes has definitely raised the bar when it comes to phenomenal story telling.
***I received a copy of this ARC from Blackbird Digital Books in exchange for an honest review.***