Skip to main content

REVIEW: Watching You Without Me by Lynn Coady

Why do we feel the need to be polite to people who cross the line and act inappropriately? Maybe it is part of the Maritimes etiquette which requires us to be friendly and polite. I'd like to believe I would never be a na├»ve as Karen, but what makes this story so scary is that maybe it actually could happen to me.

“I had forgotten how smallish cities like this one worked, the way people found out about one another—and east coast people had a knack for this in particular.”

Karen’s mother has just died, and her older sister, Kelli, needs a caregiver. So Karen takes a month off work in Toronto to come home to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to transition her sister into a care home. Her mother left a binder called “Kelli’s World!” which details the programs and helpers that are part of Kelli’s schedule.

One of these helpers is Trevor, who takes Kelli for walks twice a week. Right from the get go, Trevor is annoying. After a few chapters, I want to punch him in the face, and slap Karen because she refuses to set boundaries.

And Trevor is SO inappropriate. Looking back, Karen chalks up her gullibility to grieving for her mother and being overwhelmed with Kelli’s care. But everyone around Karen knows that Trevor is bad news, and his behavior just gets creepier. Karen continues to enable him until she finds herself in a scary situation.

“What was wrong with you, friends always ask when I get to this part of the story.”

Watching You Without Me is a compulsively readable story. It's set in east coast Canada, and I feel right at home among the tea and pop and Coach’s Corner—there is even a nod to Mr. Dressup.

Lynn Coady is a skilled writer. I love it when I discover a great Canadian author. I will be reading more of her novels.

Triggers: gaslighting, sexual abuse

I would like to express my thank to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader's copy of this book. This is my honest review.



⭐⭐⭐⭐
Watching You Without Me
Lynn Coady
ARC from House of Anansi Press
376 pages


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

How fun it is to revisit favorite books. I have never been one for re-reading (there are so many good books to read) but writing these reviews has given me the desire to do just that. I guess favorites are favorites for a reason.




“Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.”
The mysterious circus arrives without warning and takes place only at night. The reader is transported around the world as dark secrets about the circus are revealed and the characters search for a way out of a deadly game. The pace is a slow burn, and the real magic of this book for me exists in connecting the pieces to create a strange and interesting world. There is a love story (actually, more than one) but don’t go into this book expecting romance to be the main theme.
Sections of this book are written in second person, which created an intimacy and drew me in immediately. Reading these chapters, I felt as though I were being let in on a secret.
This is a book that recalls the wonder and excitement of being a k…

REVIEW: Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

A senseless tragedy takes the lives of June’s entire family. Bill Clegg writes, in vivid detail, how several people caught in the aftermath are affected by the disaster. I love books with alternating points of view if they are done well. This book has eleven point-of-view characters. Some are told in first person and some are in third person. This could have resulted in a confusing mess, but instead it shaped a complex, emotionally compelling story. 

"At first he thinks his house is on fire, but when he leans out and looks back, he can see that the smoke is coming from beyond the trees on the other side of the property. Then he smells it—the oily stench of a fire burning more than just wood. He can taste it, too, and as he inhales, it mingles with the pot smoke still on his tongue and in his throat. The birds get louder. Squawking, yelling what sound like words. Go! You! Go! he thinks he hears, but knows it’s impossible. He blinks his eyes open and shut, attempts to process each t…

REVIEW: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This is Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel. It is a completely riveting, heartbreaking work of fiction about the history of slave trade that begins with Fante folklore and ends in present day America.
Effia the Beauty was born under a curse in a village in eighteenth century Ghana.
British soldiers come from the coast to establish trade and marry women from neighboring villages. Soon enough, Effia’s own village forms an alliance to sell slaves to the British. In the bargaining, Effia marries a British soldier and moves to the castle.
Upon arrival, Effia discovers a dungeon under the ground.
"Then, carried up with the breeze, came a faint crying sound. So faint, Effia thought she was imagining it until she lowered herself down, rested her ear against the grate. “James, are there people down there? She asked."
One of the slaves is a woman That Effia’s own brother helped capture. She is shipped across the ocean in appalling conditions. With her, she carries a secret that connects her to …