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The Twilight Wife: A Psychological Thriller by the Author of The Good Neighbor

The Twilight Wife: A Psychological Thriller by the Author of The Good Neighbor

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The Twilight Wife: A Psychological Thriller by the Author of The Good Neighbor

4/5 (103 évaluations)
281 pages
4 heures
Dec 27, 2016



From the bestselling author of The Good Neighbor and After Nightfall, comes a dazzling new novel of psychological suspense in the vein of The Woman in the Window and The Wife Between Us that questions just how much we can trust the people around us.

Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few close friendships on the island where she lives with her devoted husband, Jacob.

But all is not what it seems. Kyra begins to have visions—or are they memories?—of a rocky marriage, broken promises, and cryptic relationships with the island residents, whom she believes to be her friends.

As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare. A twisty, immersive thriller, The Twilight Wife will keep readers enthralled through the final, shocking twist.
Dec 27, 2016

À propos de l'auteur

Born in India and raised in North America, A. J. Banner received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Her first novel of psychological suspense, The Good Neighbor, was named by Harper’s Bazaar as a book that could be the next Gone Girl. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five rescued cats.

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  • Our children. What a peculiar thought. Did I want safety for them? Or did I want to step off the grid to escape reminders of Aiden? To arrest my own tendency to stray, the way an ad-dict might enter a monastery? But that’s a stretch.

  • The fleeting image is so vivid it’s startling. I wanted him to hold on to me. A shot of adrenaline rushes through me, an interior tremor like the beginning of a tectonic shift.

  • Gradually, inexorably, Aiden and I drifted apart, until I could no longer stand to watch the bedside clock on a Friday night, wondering if he would even come home.

  • Anyway, love is a verb, isn’t it? It’s the way you treat someone. What we actually feel about people can be . . . complicated. Don’t you think?

  • It occurs to me that this is all I have in the world. My backpack and a crazy assailant who believes he is my husband.

Aperçu du livre

The Twilight Wife - A.J. Banner


This morning, I know the scientific term for the vermilion star, Mediaster aequalis, but I have trouble remembering my name. I reach into the icy water to touch the sea star’s bumpy exoskeleton, and I feel like a child full of fascination, not a thirty-four-year-old marine biologist recovering from a head injury. They say I taught freshman classes at Seattle University, but I have no memory of those days. I wonder about the moments I’ve lost, the people I loved. We surely must have laughed together, lifted our glasses to celebrate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries. I used to have a life. But now I have only this island, the husband who stays by my side, and a peculiar recurring dream.

I came down to the water’s edge today, to see if I could conjure a memory, but instead I found this rare, healthy sea star, untouched by the mysterious wasting disease ravaging sea stars along the west coast. Here is this bright orange miracle, all five arms intact. I suppose I’m a miracle, too, still alive and intact after fracturing my skull in a diving accident three months ago.

These islands haunt me, but I have no conscious memory of this area. No memory of my decision to move here to study the rare Tompkins anemone. No memory of buying these pajamas, my sweater, my running shoes.

And I don’t recognize the jagged scar on my right thumb. A thin white line. My husband, Jacob, said I cut myself on a barnacle-encrusted rock while diving.

I once knew how to assemble a scuba unit, but I don’t trust myself to even put on a mask anymore. I don’t recall learning how to dive. Last thing I remember, I was thirty years old. And after that . . . the boat trip to this island two weeks ago. Jacob thinks the beautiful forest emerging from the fog and the rocky coastline of this special place will help restore me. All I can think is, what am I doing here?

I long to reclaim the four years I’ve lost. After my recovery in the hospital, we came here to Mystic Island in the Pacific Northwest, where the wind blows in cold from the sea. On this remote outpost, emergency responders can be slow—if they even get the call. The locals pride themselves on staying off the grid. Our landline goes out so often, we might as well not have one.

Jacob follows me everywhere. He worries I’ll forget where I am. He won’t like that I’ve wandered down to the beach alone. I could become disoriented, lose my way. My husband watches over me like a guardian angel.

And I barely remember him at all.

Kyra! What are you doing? His voice drifts toward me on the wind. He’s racing along the beach in graceful strides.

I found a healthy sea star! My name is Kyra Winthrop. I dropped my maiden name, Munin. I’ve been married to Jacob Winthrop for nearly three years. I have to keep reminding myself.

When Jacob reaches me, breathless, he pulls me to my feet. You scared the hell out of me. His T-shirt is on inside out, and he’s in jeans and hiking boots. He’s striking in a Nordic way, with blue eyes, strong features, and a blond buzz cut. If I could talk to my old self, I would congratulate her for making such a wise decision to marry this thoughtful man, who clearly loves me.

Sorry I scared you, I say, looking toward the sea. I needed to get outside, that’s all.

You walked a long way. I got worried. He looks around in a panic, as if some malevolent force might try to steal me. But there is no other human on this beach, only the seagulls riding the updrafts.

You shouldn’t worry. You need your rest. Taking care of me is wearing you out. I touch his cheek, rough with the beginning of a beard. His fatigue shows in the shadows beneath his eyes. I wish he didn’t insist on cooking for me, tidying up after me, doing the laundry. He patiently answers my questions, but I hate having to ask them.

He pulls me into a hug. Tell me the truth, he says. What’s going on? Was it . . .?

Yeah, the dream again, I confess. It’s always the same. I’m diving in murky, churning waters, struggling against the current. I wake in a cold sweat.

That nightmare won’t leave you alone. Jacob steps back and rests his hands on my shoulders. They’re heavy hands, as if his bones are made of concrete. Maybe you need to talk to someone.

I’m sorry the burden has been all on you.

You’re never a burden. That’s not what I meant. He lifts my hand to his lips, kisses my fingers. His breath is warm on my skin. You could’ve woken me. I would’ve come down here with you.

But you looked so peaceful.

He scratches the stubble on his chin. I’ll be more peaceful inside by the woodstove. Come on, you’re shivering. You should’ve put on a coat.

My sweater is good enough. But he’s right. My teeth chatter as we head back along the beach, picking our way across kelp and shells. I imagine how we must have carried our scuba gear across a similar beach at Deception Pass, the day of the accident. We thought the amazing marine life in the pass would outweigh the risk of diving in such rough waters. He has shown me pictures of the area where we dove, several miles south of Mystic Island. But I don’t remember the Deception Pass Bridge, its span of nearly 1,500 feet rising 180 feet above the narrow strait that separates Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. Apparently, we consulted the tide tables, which we thought were in Pacific Standard Time. But they were in Pacific Daylight Time. We were diving earlier than we thought, through strong currents instead of in calm waters at slack current.

I turn to look up at Jacob. How did we survive?

What? He looks at me with confusion in his eyes.

We made it to shore east of the bridge. But how?

We swam. I told you already. He can’t hide the touch of irritation in his voice.

I don’t remember every detail of what you tell me—

I know. It’s just . . .

I’m sorry you have to repeat yourself.

It’s okay. I don’t mind.

But I know he does. He tries so hard to be patient. I want to go back to the pass, I say. I want to see where we dove. Maybe I’ll start remembering on my own.

He interlaces his fingers with mine. We’ll go back, okay? But not yet. You need some time.

Fair enough. I know he’s the one who needs time. He remembers everything, and now he suffers from post-traumatic stress, while my brain simply blacked out.

I follow him up the steps toward our sprawling cedar bungalow with its plethora of windows and a small garden cottage. Vines of ivy climb the western wall of the main dwelling. Rosebushes cling to the south-facing side. Jacob’s mother planted the first roses nearly forty years ago, when his father built the house as a refuge from city life. It’s the kind of house that might harbor a fugitive or someone in witness protection—or a weary soul seeking a retreat, a sanctuary surrounded by forest and the sea.

Despite its sprawl, the one-story structure feels unobtrusive, as if it has grown naturally from the landscape. Many times in recent days, I’ve stood in the garden or on the beach, staring at the house from different perspectives, trying to remember the last time we were here. I imagine Jacob chasing me up the stone steps, both of us laughing. I know we loved this place—he has shown me the photographs. How lucky I am that his parents left him the place. He hired contractors to remodel the rooms, add the solar panels, and build the garden cottage, where he types away on the Great American Novel. He left his lucrative software business in Seattle to take care of me. He stocked the pantry and rigged a spotty satellite Internet connection in my study, but the island has no cell phone service. It feels like we’re light-years away from civilization, instead of a hundred miles from Seattle, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

If I stand on the deck, I hear the rush of wind, the rhythm of the surf, the muted chirping of birds in the underbrush. There are no cars on this dead-end road, no television, no neighbors. Since we’ve been here, I have not even heard the drone of a distant airplane. At night, far from the city lights, the stars crowd into a spectacular display in the inky dome of sky. The sheer wildness of this island leaves me breathless, a deep and unspoken longing rising inside me—for what, I’m not sure.

When Jacob and I reach the house, a blue pickup truck comes into view in the driveway. A woman I knew here before, Nancy Phelps, traipses toward me through the long grass. Last week, she brought over autumn squash and pumpkins from her garden. She’s in jeans, pullover, and boots, her golden hair flying.

This time, a man has come with her, probably her husband. I seem to remember—she told me he runs a salvage diving company. He must’ve returned from his latest expedition. He’s crouching to examine the broken solar panel in the driveway.

Morning! Nancy says, striding up to us and pulling me into an apple-scented hug. Her features etch delicate impressions into her face. Small nose, wide-set hazel eyes, and a scattering of freckles.

I look down at my damp pajamas, then I smile at her. If I’d known you were coming, I would’ve worn my fluffy slippers.

You look gorgeous, she says.

You, too. But you’re lying. I look like I just rolled out of bed.

It was a gorgeous roll out of bed.

Come in for coffee? I say.

Too much to do, but thanks. We were headed up this way to drop off some eggs. Thought Van might take a look at repairing the solar panel.

He’s our fix-it man, Jacob says.

Her husband strides over in a slightly bowlegged gait. He’s handsome in a rough way, all stubble and thick, dark hair. He’s in work boots and jeans and a flannel shirt. Kyra, he says in a deep voice, shaking my hand. As his fingers touch mine, I’m struck by a lightning bolt of recognition. He’s gazing into my eyes, offering me a glass of wine.

You must be Van, I say, letting go of his hand.

Good to see you again, he says. Nancy says you won’t remember me.

She gives me an apologetic look. I had to tell him what happened, couldn’t have you pretending.

I’ll be pretending if I say I remember you, I say. I’m sorry.

Nothing stayed with you, huh? Not a danged thing? Van points at his right temple. You hit your head, and now . . .?

Van, Nancy warns him.

Just sayin’. You got nothing of . . . how long?

Four years, I say.

Damn. He lets out a low whistle.

Jacob pats my shoulder. She knows how she felt about this place. Don’t you?

Yes, I say. I loved the island. I feel silly and cold standing here in my pajamas.

Van steps closer to me. Any chance it could all come back?

No, Jacob says, while I say, Yes.

Maybe a few moments could come back, Jacob corrects himself. But it’s highly unlikely.

I bite back my response. Highly unlikely?

For a split second, the two men gaze at each other. The voices seem far away, traveling a great distance through the sludgy atmosphere.

. . . better take a look, Nancy is saying. Van’s a whiz at fixing things.

Jacob is suddenly jovial. What’s the prognosis, Van?

We’re all following Van to the solar panel. Big one, he’s saying. Twenty-four-volt, two-hundred-watt . . . not sure.

Jacob nods. Can you fix the broken glass?

Van kneels next to the panel and examines it closely. I could use some UV-resistant plastic. I could seal it for you. You’re low on watts, but the voltage is okay.

That’ll work? Jacob says. You can’t replace the glass?

Hell no. That glass is bonded to the cells. Could damage the thing. I would use heavy-gauge plastic. I know of some good waterproof sealant. Used on roofs. Not strictly green, mind you.

That’s okay, Jacob says.

Got to make sure the panel is dry. There’s a trick to the repair. I’ve done it before. You don’t want to get wrinkles in the plastic, like—

No need to go into details, Nancy says, but not in a cruel way. It’s a familiarity born of time and shared experiences.

Go for it, Jacob says. Name your price.

We barter around here, Van says, looking at me. I look away, out across the sea. The wind is kicking up whitecaps.

Not sure what I can barter, Jacob says. I’ve got some oysters—

Van’s allergic to shellfish, Nancy says.

Wood, Van says, pointing to the wood pile. A cord?

You got it.

Nancy pulls me aside. How are you holding up?

I watch Jacob and Van crouching over the solar panel, their backs to us. I’m okay, but it’s day by day.

I told you I would help, she says.

You and I. Were we close? Before my accident?

We did talk some. She squeezes my arm gently. Give it time. And in the meantime, let Jacob take care of you. You’re lucky to have a husband like him. She looks at him and tucks her hands into her jacket pockets.

I worry he’s getting tired of all my questions.

I’m sure he’s okay with it. He says you still have an amazing memory for facts . . .

If he says so.

Have you given any thought to coming down to the school?

The school?

To talk to the kids, remember? Teach them about marine biology?

Oh, right, I say faintly. I don’t recall this piece of our previous conversations.

You could tell them about, say, the Portuguese man o’ war.

It comes to me immediately. The Portuguese man o’ war is an ancient, foot-long purple bladder in the phylum Cnidaria, existing virtually unchanged for six hundred fifty million years . . .

You do remember a few things, she says, her brows rising.

When these facts come back to me so quickly, I surprise even myself, though I know I knew all of this years before the time I lost.

She gives me a peculiar look. I bet you attracted Jacob with all those facts. He always liked smart women.

Always? What do you mean by that?

I mean, since we grew up together, I know Jacob’s taste in women. He must love your brilliant mind, she says, smiling.

I’m not sure I have much of a mind left, I say.

I’m sure you do. So, you’ll give it a whirl? Teaching? We have only twenty kids, all ages.

A sleeping memory stirs inside me. Yes, you teach in a one-room school. Now I remember being there, vaguely.

You talked about delicate ecosystems and the way the warming oceans are destroying the balance of nature. You motivated the kids to make a difference in the world.

I’m sure you inspire your students as well.

I like to think I do, she says, hooking her arm in mine. Let’s walk a bit? She’s already steering me down the driveway.

Where are you going? Jacob asks.

I’m taking her for a little stroll, Nancy says. We’re catching up.

He gives me an anxious look. Don’t be long. She needs to get some rest.

I’ll have her back soon. We turn right onto the dirt lane winding through a dense fir forest. When the men are out of sight, she says, This road was a lot bumpier when we were kids.

How long have you and Jacob known each other?

Since we were babies, she says wistfully. Spring, summer, Christmas. He lived in the city, came to the island on holidays with his parents. But I told you all this.

Sorry. I still have a little trouble—

Have you given any thought to seeing Sylvia? She might be able to help.


The therapist.

A familiar anxiety seizes me. We talked about her, too, didn’t we?

I asked you if you were seeing anyone, like a psychologist. You said your doctors in Seattle did all they could.

They gave me memory exercises to practice at home, but—

I told you if you want to consult with a professional here, I know of one. She reaches into her coat pocket and hands me a business card embossed in blue text. Sylvia LaCrosse, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a telephone number and an address on Waterfront Road. The card looks familiar.

Did you give me a card last week? I say. She must have, and I’ve lost it. What did I do with it? My fingers tremble. I nearly drop the card in the dirt.

No, I didn’t give you a card, she says. You said you wanted to think about it.

I breathe a sigh of relief. She’s not a psychologist.

She’s as good as one. She worked for Pierce County for a lot of years, family therapy. She got burned out in the city. Too many sad cases and not enough funding. She’s semiretired, but she’s still taking on some clients in private practice.

You told me all this last week, too, didn’t you?

Nancy nods sadly. You need to see her. Trust me, she’s good at what she does.

Thank you, I say, tucking the card into my pocket. Somehow, the possibility of talking to Sylvia LaCrosse calms me, like a soothing balm.

When we get back, Jacob gives me a searching look. Are you feeling all right?

I’m okay, I say, although my legs are wobbly.

Nancy gives him a high-wattage smile. We were talking about how you two have to come over for dinner.

Jacob looks up at me. If Kyra wants to—

We would love to, I say.

Van is already in the truck, revving the engine.

He’s too impatient, Nancy says. She gives me a quick hug. We’ll pick a date for dinner. Don’t forget about the school. So good to see you. But she’s smiling at Jacob, not at me.

And you, I say as she heads back to the truck.

Jacob takes my hand. We don’t need to go for dinner if you’re not up for it.

It’ll be nice to be with friends. They can tell me things about my past, fill me in, so it’s not all on you. And it sounds like Nancy might have some great stories about you as a teenager. I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

I don’t mind it all being on me. He kisses my forehead. And I’ll have to warn her not to give away any of my secrets.

Nancy climbs into the truck next to her husband. He says something to her, not looking at her, waving his arm in a dismissive motion. She shrugs and looks away, tapping her fingers on the passenger-side window. The wind scatters leaves across the garden as he shifts the truck into reverse, hits the gas, and peels out of the driveway.

In the spacious master bathroom, I run my fingers through my hair. My wavy mane is growing at a breakneck pace. I barely recognize my sunken cheeks, haunted expression, and the scar on my right temple, just above my eyebrow. But I am me. My features are mine—large brown eyes, thick lashes, full mouth, and high cheekbones. The

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Avis des lecteurs

  • (3/5)
    Kyra Winthrop is "The Twilight Wife," in which she narrates her tale of missing memories that are gradually returning. A. J. Banner's heroine is a thirty-four year old marine biologist and amnesiac who suffered a fractured skull three months earlier while diving in dangerous waters. Although she has been told that she was once a teacher in Seattle, she has no recollection of the previous four years. "Now I have only this island, the husband who stays by my side, and a peculiar recurring dream," she says mournfully. Kyra is dependent on Jacob (he's her "guardian angel") who prepares delicious home-cooked meals, takes care of the shopping and other household chores, and comforts her when she is confused or worried. Jacob is an MIT graduate and computer genius who founded his own company. The couple now lives one hundred miles from Seattle, on Mystic Island, "a sanctuary surrounded by forest and the sea," a wild and scenic place with no cell phone service, a spotty landline, and an unreliable Internet connection.

    Soon, we pick up on the fact that Jacob hovers over Kyra a bit too much, leaving her little breathing space to regain her independence. Fortunately, she is beginning to recall bits and pieces of the past, and she decides to visit a clinical social worker to help organize her thoughts and soothe her anxiety. Little by little, she realizes that something is terribly wrong. She decides to do some sleuthing without confiding in Jacob, and subsequently makes some shocking discoveries.

    "The Twilight Wife" is fairly predictable; most readers will have some sense of where the story is headed. In addition, certain far-fetched elements, along with a melodramatic and over-the-top conclusion, mar the narrative. However, Kyra's plaintive and eloquent voice draws us in; we identify with her fear, and empathize with her longing to regain her former standing as a respected scientist and educator. This psychological thriller is not particularly intense or violent, but it is quietly effective. The author keeps us invested in the proceedings with her vivid descriptions of ocean life, insight into troubled minds, and evocative portrayal of Jacob and Kyra's complex relationship.
  • (4/5)
    The Twilight Wife is A.J. Banner's second novel.After marine biologist Kyra Winthrop suffered a catastrophic diving accident, her husband Jacob moved her to a small island community to heal. And while her physical injuries have healed, her memory has not. She barely remembers anything about her life before the accident or even the accident itself. But lately, she has flashes of another time, other places and other people - but are they real or imagined? Was Jacob always the devoted husband he is today? Why do some of the townsfolk whisper behind her back? Or is it all in her own mind?"Why can't I remember four years of my life? Why only four years? Why not everything? Why not just the accident? Why do I keep forgetting conversations? Pieces of time?"A great premise. I love this current trend of unreliable narrators (memory loss opens up lots of possibilities), psychological suspense and twisty endings.The Twilight Wife is told through Kyra's eyes and experience. It's a bit of a slow wind-up, full of details that started to make sense to me sooner than they did for Kyra. Banner does a good job of dropping hints and doubts along the way, and had suspicions as to the final reveal long before Kyra did. But hey, she has a brain injury and I don't.The Twilight Wife was a quick, engaging book that almost read like a movie if that makes sense. Not a lot of depth, but very entertaining. It would be a great beach bag book - especially with all the marine biology trivia included. The audiobook is narrated by Cassandra Carroll, a prolific and award winning reader. I do enjoy her voice - she has a nice tone and modulation. Sometimes though that she over elongates words. I don't know why, but in some books, I do find it a bit annoying. Her interpretation of Kyra does match Banner's words. But it's interesting comparing both print and vocal versions of a book. The audiobook made Kyra seem even more vulnerable and lost.
  • (4/5)
    Very nice addition to the psychological thriller genre - reminded me of Before I go To Sleep but this one was better. It was slow in the beginning but after the first couple of chapters I couldn't put it down.
  • (3/5)
    A fast read: part psychological thriller, part character study - we follow Kyra Winthrop's struggle to regain her memories of even her most recent past following a blow to the head during an ocean dive. The settings include Seattle, the San Juan Islands, and Deception Pass so there was the instant recognition of the Northwest landmarks, the terrain, the weather. Besides Jacob, the author also provides another couple, Van & Nancy, friends and longtime island residents, to explore the delicate fabric of marriage. Nancy, Jacob's childhood friend, is so obviously smitten with him, the tension in some of the scenes with the two couples is palpable. Kyra's marine biology training, her research into rare sea anemones, the tide pool sea creatures she examines on her beach walks- these also adds some depth to her character. She has stopped her pain meds, & while she still experiences moments of dizziness and headaches, she begins to struggle towards her past, sharing her fears and questions with a local psychologist, fearful that while she's married to her caring husband Jacob, she was once in an affair with their friend, his co-worker Aiden. To her shock, she also realizes she had suffered through two miscarriages, something Jacob avoids telling her. What else isn't he telling her? An examination of marriage, a struggle to regain one's past, and the solving of a mysterious diving accident - all these plot strands come together only in the last couple chapters in a climactic escape scene.
  • (5/5)
    Title: The Twilight WifeAuthor: A.J. BannerPublisher: TouchstoneReviewed By: Arlena DeanRating: FiveReview:"The Twilight Wife" by A. J. BannerMy Thoughts....What a good mystery thriller with psychological suspense read that will keep your attention and definitely have you guessing all the way till the end keeping you on the edge of your seat. The author gives the ready quite a story of what happens to Kyra Winthrop after an accident steals her memory for the past four years. But what will happen as Kyra begins to piece her life back together again? This is definitely a read that will give you a 'tale of confusion and deceit' as the twist and turns with clues that are brought out in this well written story. I liked the way this author gives the reader such a story that you will not see that ending coming definitely giving the reader a real shocker. I liked the descriptions used in the story with 'details of marine creatures, birds and trees on this Pacific Northwest island [Mystic Island].'"The Twilight Wife" is one of those stories that you will just have to pick up this good read to find out the truth that will be webbed in the lies and deception of it all. The characters were all well developed, portrayed and defined giving the reader one easy read of a incredible story. Will Kyra be able to finally get more of her memory back and becomes more confident in her own abilities to finally connect the dots? In the end will it all work out for Kyra? Well, this is where I say you will have to pick up this good read to see just how this author will bring it all out to the reader. If you like a good mystery thriller with psychological suspense, then I would recommend "The Twilight Wife" for you.This ARC was given by the publisher and NetGallery in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
  • (4/5)
    Kyra Winthrop and her husband, Jacob, are headed to live on a remote island (in the house where Jacob grew up) to get away from it all. Kyra recently suffered a head injury in a diving accident; she hit her head on a rock and while Jacob saved her, she cannot remember the past four years of her life and is having trouble with her current ability to retain things. Kyra and Jacob hope time away, in a quiet place, will let Kyra--and her memory--heal. But once on the island, Kyra begins to remember more and more. About the accident and about her past. She has no one to rely on but Jacob, who tells her much of what she remembers are only dreams. But Kyra is convinced it's more. And what about the shadowy third figure she continually recalls from their diving accident? Kyra isn't sure who to trust, even herself, as she tries to unfold her past and recall not only her accident, but who she has been for the past four years.

    This was a fascinating book that really took the premise of the "unreliable" narrator to a whole new level. What I enjoyed the most is that we learned the bits and pieces about Kyra's life, and who she was, just as she did. This made the novel very suspenseful and helped make up for any points where it seemed a little unbelievable (e.g., only forgetting exactly these 4 crucial years, no Internet on the island except at their home, etc.), or where the story felt a bit flat. Kyra is our main character, and she's interesting and complicated, with her memory loss and unknown past. She's truly trying to find out who she is. The others in the novel, mainly Jacob and a few island residents, aren't exactly characters you form an attachment to. Still, I found the book captivating and basically read the second half in one sitting: it's a very fast read, and you become easily drawn into Kyra's world.

    I found the ending to be a little easy and pat, but I still enjoyed watching all the pieces come together (even if I'd guessed some of them already). The novel really truly does a masterful job at creating intrigue into Kyra's past and the various parts of her life, and how she has arrived on this remote island with Jacob (don't want to give anything away). It's a little eerie, a little creepy, and a little haunting. It was sort of a fun version of a Lifetime movie--one that had me hooked and enjoying the plot, versus rolling my eyes and changing the channel--and because I so enjoyed seeing everything come together and racing through the end of the book, it pushed my rating up to 4 stars. If you're looking for a quick suspense read, it's definitely worth picking this one up.

    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss (thank you!); it is available everywhere as of 12/27/2016.
  • (4/5)
    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.Kyra is a marine biologist who was in a terrible diving accident, and has lost many of her memories. She now lives on an isolated island with her husband, Jacob, who takes care of her and acts as her protector when she cannot call up the past.But as flashes of Kyra's memory start to return, she begins to fear that all may not be as it seems.This was a suspenseful read! Banner does an excellent job of having the readers learn things right along with Kyra, so I felt that surprise and shock and disquiet right along with the main character. As I got to the last few chapters, I could not put the book down. I had to know what was the truth, and what was going to happen. There's a scene with a computer...no spoilers here, I promise, but once you hit that spot with Kyra, be prepared to devote the next few hours to finishing this book, because you will have to know what happens next.I did find that being very familiar with Before I Go to Sleep (it's one of my favorite reads in this genre) did perhaps make it easier to guess what was going to happen next in some parts of the book. But because I loved the plot twists of Before I Go to Sleep, this didn't really bother me.Read this book! It's an excellent addition to the psychological suspense genre, and really well-written. You will be hooked.
  • (5/5)
    Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that stole her memory. Her devoted husband, Jacob, is by her side, determined to help her through the fears and uncertainties of the time she cannot remember.But strange dreams haunt Kyra and brief flashes of memories cause her to wonder if what Jacob has told her is the truth. But what possible reason could he have for lying? Just how much can Kyra depend on her memories?As the tension ratchets up, readers will find themselves captivated by the compelling characters and the unfolding twisted tale. The action-packed plot keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the final page and the completely unexpected reveal that changes everything they thought they knew.Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Just wow. Page turner from the start until the end. The ending was quite a surprise, and I liked it.
  • (1/5)
    Not all that suspenseful or thrilling. In my opinion, it was actually rather boring and bland. I wouldnt recommend reading it....nothing special about this book in my view.
  • (5/5)
    Great story; I love how it was given. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top
  • (5/5)
    A real page turner and most definitely an ending that I didn’t see coming!!!
  • (4/5)
    Kyra has a diving accident and has lost her memory. Her husband Jacob has taken her away to remote island to recover. But as Kyra starts to remember things, the answers don't seem to add up. Once Kyra finds the key to unlocking her memory, the book takes a turn and doesn't slow down from there.
  • (3/5)
    I was expecting something a little more suspenseful and a little less romantic, but I still enjoyed this book. I think that listening to the audiobook helped with my enjoyment as the performer had a quiet, sweet and somewhat tentative voice, which made the lead seem a little bit delicate and uncertain. This made the book a little more suspenseful, because I already felt that the lead was a little bit helpless.
  • (4/5)
    I liked the characters of this book, interesting details, revealed withing good timing.However, this book had a very slow start. Once the plot got rolling, about halfway through I was hooked. Worth the wait.
  • (4/5)
    Really a fantastic read, so detailed, sometimes I felt I was right there investigating the ocean with her. My only complaint was once she figured out the truth, the ending of the book felt thrown together. I wish the ending would have been as detailed as the first part and it would have been a more complete read for me. But would recommend it nonetheless.
  • (5/5)
    I am not very fond of books about amnesia. In soap operas it seemed that was used so much I wanted to scream. They would drag it out for months and in the end there was no real wow moment. After reading this book, I have a fresh outlook on amnesia. The author has written such a haunting and emotional story I had to read as fast as I could. There was not going to be anything to stop me as I feverishly held onto each word. Yes the book is so good I can't wait for the next book from this brilliant author to come out. Kyra Winthrop seems to have the ideal life. She has an impressive job as a marine biologist and a husband named Jacob who adores her. The story grips you right from the beginning as Kyra has a diving accident. It is devasting and the outcome of the accident is amnesia. I would hate to wake up and not remember who I was or anything about my life. That would call for a full blown panic attack on my part. To help in her recovery, her husband takes her to an island to help her recover. Is Jacob really the caring husband he presents himself to be? What mystery is surrounding Kyra's accident? As Kyra slowly begins to have snipets of memory something seems off to her. Who can she really trust and why are there lies submerging to the top? I kept thinking about the show the Twilight Zone. Everytjing about that show was edgy and hard to explain. The story is a psychological thriller with chilling twists and turns that will leave readers trying to guess the sinister plot that causes Kyra to slowly dig into her accident. I love the heartpounding ride the author takes you on as you gear up for a ride through lies, and surprises that that will be a game changer. I received an arc copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion and I was not compensated for it.
  • (3/5)
    A special thank you to Goodreads First Reads and Touchstone/Simon & Schuster for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    Kyra Winthrop, a thirty-four-year-old marine biologist, is recovering from a head injury she sustained in a diving accident. She has no memory of the accident. Her most recent years come to her in flashes; she is completely dependent upon those around her to fill in the gaps, most notably her doting and patient husband, Jacob. Because of the extent of her injury, Jacob tells her the same stories over and over, and answers the same questions again and again. He compiles pictures in a ‘memory’ book for her to assist with her recovery. Sounds like the perfect husband…so then why is she remembering another man, Aiden Finlay? Did she have an affair?

    The couple live on a small island, cut off from civilization, and all is not what it seems. Kyra’s visions become more recurrent, people are not who appear to be. She stops taking her medication to try and make sense of memories, are they flashbacks, or were they told to her? As her memories become more frequent, she feels like she can’t even trust herself so she starts to see a therapist in secret to help her make sense of things. Through her continued therapy sessions, she begins to piece together events and dissect the foundations of her relationships. The truth is in fact a nightmare and Jacob doesn’t want her regaining her memory.

    In the same vein as S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, this page-turner has the reader questioning relationships and those who they trust. A solid 3.5/5 stars.
  • (3/5)
    This is an OK read about a woman who lost her memory, lives on an island with little contact with the rest of the world with her husband and is trying to regain her past. If you can get back how unrealistic the premise is, the fact that her “husband” was so obsessed with her that he designed this ruse and the lack of any real drama, it was a quick and simple read.