The Woman on The Beach by Julia Roberts

I was drawn to this book as I previously read and loved ‘My Mother’s Secret‘ by this author. That book was emotional, dramatic and completely gripping so I had high hopes for this book.

Blurb:

I was so sure I saw Sophie on the beach that day. But it couldn’t be her. Sophie’s dead…

Ever since we swore to be best friends at school, Sophie was there for me. When she married my brother, she became family. We shared everything.

At least I thought we did.

After she died, I was devastated. Everyone else has moved on, but I can’t. She was so quiet, those last few months. I’m sure there is something I don’t know…

Now I’m standing on the beach we visited when we were younger, and there’s a woman with long blond hair a few metres away, playing with a dog in the sunshine. She turns, and I see Sophie.

Heart racing, I run after her, but before I can reach her she’s vanished, leaving only footprints in the sand.

It can’t be Sophie… Can it? And do I want to know, if the answer will destroy everything?

A gripping emotional page-turner about the ways we lie to ourselves and how love and hope can heal us. Fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Susan Lewis will absolutely love The Woman on the Beach.

My thoughts:

I was hooked on this book very early on. The scene on the beach in Mexico is dramatic, unusual and intriguing as we really don’t know what is going on – can it really be Sophie?

I loved the way the story and characters developed. There were unexpected twists, cliff-hangers and you are led down quite a few paths of assumption before you uncover the truth. Liv is a wonderful and sympathetic character. She is suffering through her own struggles but still comes across as a wise, caring, compassionate and loyal person.

There is a whole cast of complex, believable characters in this book and it meant I became so completely immersed in these character’s dilemmas and psychological tensions, that I almost forgot it was fiction I was reading. The author touches on very real and raw issues, such as relationship breakdown, addiction, suicide, identity, miscarriage and grief. This ensures that this is an emotionally charged book, but these issues are sensitively dealt with and the book is beautifully written and effectively structured to ensure the reader is completely gripped and engrossed.

Overall, I feel it is completely fair to compare this author and book to the likes of Amanda Prowse and Susan Lewis, who are two of my favourite authors. I am looking forward to reading more by this author!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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