Bantam, February 2011
Synopsis- Do you have to honour a promise you made in the past if it means losing all you have now?
When Mark introduces his date, Julia, to Chloe and her husband at a London restaurant, it’s obvious that something is very, very wrong. Alex and Julia pretend not to know one another, but the shocked expressions on their faces tell another story.
As the mystery of Julia’s identity unravels, a terrible tragedy from ten years ago gradually comes to light. While Chloe struggles with a secret of her own, Alex has to decide whether he should take Julia back to Australia to try to lay the past to rest, when doing so will risk all he has with the wife he loves.
And Julia must decide whether to finally confront Alex with the whole truth about what happened back then.
Set in London and Perth, Come Back to Me is a taut psychological drama that will keep you enthralled until the very last page.
Review- Sara Foster’s debut novel, Come Back to Me (2010) is the third book I’ve read by this talented Western Australian author. Having previously enjoyed Beneath the Shadows and Shallow Breath, I picked up this one at a second hand bookstore and it has sat on my TBR pile for a little while. I finally managed to pick it up and read it over the Christmas holidays and I’m kicking myself for having waited for so long- I loved it!
Come Back to Me is a mystery that spans Australia and England and had me hooked from the very first chapter. The way that Foster weaves the suspense throughout the story by relinquishing a little background information at a time and cliffhanger chapter endings managed to keep me on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. The characters frustrated me for a majority of the story (I just wanted them to communicate!!) and yet they were characters that were flawed and relatable, no matter what their circumstances.
Chloe and her husband Alex turn up at a double date dinner with her colleague (and ex-boyfriend) Mark and his new woman, Julia. The tension steps up immediately as it becomes obvious that Alex and Julia have some history. The tension is amplified by the delay in Chloe actually confronting Alex about this and why Alex isn’t upfront about it in the first place. And yet at the same time, I could understand why they did this. Chloe is fearful of losing Alex and Alex is so shocked by Julia’s reappearance that it brings up a lot of unresolved feelings for him. The plot takes off from there with Alex and Chloe’s marriage on the rocks, the identity of this mysterious Julia is revealed and Mark and Chloe develop an unlikely (and dysfunctional) friendship.
Although I wanted Alex to be more open with Chloe and to have tried harder to get his message across, I can also understand the difficult position he was in and how he felt he needed to supporting Julia. Julia was a character who is surrounded by mystery, but as her story unravels I could really empathise with her difficult experiences and how she chose to deal with this. Chloe was probably the most frustrating character for me as she just made silly decisions, she was avoidant and at times emotionally immature. And yet, I could still relate to her because of the fear of losing her husband and her life which led her to make these choices.
Foster creates fantastic mysteries that are psychologically stimulating and portray realistic and intriguing characters. Well worth the read and I’m looking forward to reading future books by this talented Aussie author.
Come Back To Me can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers
This book was read as part of the AWW2014 challenge: