After reading Judy Finnigan’s mesmerizing novel, Eloise, I was left wondering how well we can know anyone, even those closest to us. From the beginning the reader learns that Eloise died. Even though she was terminally ill with cancer the timing of her death was a surprise as she had been doing well. Cathy, her close friend, mourns her loss. As far as Cathy knows Eloise is survived by her mother, her husband and her five year old twin daughters. Over time, Cathy learns that there is a shocking and growing list of survivors. Eloise begins to appear in Cathy’s dreams and makes mostly vague statements, except for one. Eloise makes it clears that she fears for the safety of her daughters and that she needs for Cathy to protect them.
Having once had a breakdown, Cathy begins to question her own sanity as does her psychiatrist husband, Chris, when she tells him of Eloise’s request. He threatens to leave her. “It was extraordinary that a couple with so much love for each other, such a strong family bond could come unstuck through a supernatural experience .” Struggling to understand Eloise’s messages and to keep her family together Cathy agrees to an exorcism of sorts. With every word the mystery and suspense deepen. Eventually, Eloise’s secrets are revealed and things come to a head.
Set amidst the beauty of Cornwall the author has written an exquisite novel that is imaginative and exciting. Rich details, complex and interlocking characters and honest prose result in a thought provoking story which is well worth reading.
I received this book for free from Net Galley and I give this review of my own free will.