This book rocks and I would give it a 5 star if I could read it again. I usually reserve 5 stars for books I end up reading over and over again. As much as I admire this book and love the story, I also hate it at times. I hate it because I am so angry and frustrated the first 30% of the book. I'm angry at how everyone treats Aubrey. No good deed goes unpunished.
Aubrey is a complex character who is trying to do everything right and yet people are taking it the wrong way. Some of it is the way she communicates. I feel for Aubrey. She experienced a traumatic event at the age of two. I realize in this book it says there is no way that she can remember what happened at two. I beg to differ. In my experience, (take it with a grain of salt), a traumatic experience for a child is when a child's memory starts recording. When I was two, I was separated from my mother who was my primary caregiver. This event upset me so much that I remember being separated from her and from that point on, my memories started. I have started my relatives with memories of what happened when I was around two. Some of the memories are actually a bit younger. So I believe Aubrey when she remembers what happened when she was two. The entire situation of what happened to her at two infuriates me. It infuriates me because no one, absolutely no one helped. If they did, things would have turned out differently. I'm still angry thinking about it as I'm writing this review.
I may not agree with how Aubrey does some things. And I think the way she goes about other things is foolhardy, but I understand her motivation. I understand her complex background and why she is the way she is. I empathize with her inability to relate to others. It is because she needs to hide a portion of herself and she isn't a sociopath who can emulate others and blend in. The judgment other mothers have of her incense me. Why? Because I saw a similar situation of stay-at-home moms treating my mother the same way. As a child, I didn't understand it. As an adult, it makes me livid. Perhaps a few things that impacted Aubrey pushed my buttons which is why I felt rage throughout the first half of the book. I was angry on behalf of Aubrey. This amazingly talented woman with so much potential and love to give . . . she had to hide it all. I just want to scream.
This book kept me riveted even as I hated the characters who treated Aubrey poorly. I do commend Ms. Armstrong on how Aubrey's estranged husband treated her. I was pleasantly surprised and I liked it. This story is so much more than a kidnapped kid. It is a character journey for Aubrey to shine and no longer stay hidden. I love Aubrey and I only wish her the best. This suspense is for readers who love underdogs that find themselves and make people take notice.