Between You and Me is cast as a psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming and whilst many seem to have done just that, I was not one of those people. Maybe it’s because when I read, I truly allow myself to suspend belief and become immersed in what the writer has crafted. Or maybe I’m just gullible 🙂
The subject deals with the reality of living with domestic abuse. To the outside world, Sal and Charlie are a happily married couple with a beautiful daughter, Maggie. Whist Charlie goes out to work as a corporate lawyer, Sal stays at home to take care of their daughter. However, on the inside, Sal’s life is very different.
The story starts with a prologue which, I’ve mentioned before I’m not a big fan of, but once I reached the end of the book, I understood why the writer had to insert one.
The book is written in first person, and from both Sal and Charlie’s point of view. Whilst that can sometimes be confusing for the reader, Sal and Charlie’s voices were very different, and therefore, it worked. You didn’t need to keep referring back to the start of the chapter to find out whose viewpoint you were ready, so well done to the author for achieving success in a tricky writing style.
It is also written diary style which, I’m afraid, I found a little repetitive, although it was interesting to see how the same incident looked so different from two perspectives, and how Charlie is able to justify the behaviour shown to Sal.
The one thing I did have trouble with was the layout of the book. In traditional publishing, scene breaks are demonstrated by a gap in the prose, with paragraph indents at the beginning of sentences (apart from the start of chapters and following a scene break), but Between You and Me did not follow this traditional style. Everything was left-aligned, with paragraphs being separated by a gap usually held for scene breaks. I’m not sure whether this was an issue with Kindle formatting, or purposely intended as a pioneer to break the traditional style. If it is the former, I would urge the writer to re-format the e-book. If it’s the latter, well, maybe I’m not yet ready to let go of tradition.
Anything which raises the terrible issue of domestic abuse gets my vote, and whilst I wouldn’t add this book to my favourite’s list, the writer does a good job at showing how slowly the abuse builds up, almost without the abused noticing, until it becomes the norm, and how difficult it can be to ask for help, due to fear and embarrassment.
For those asking whether I would recommend this book, I would say yes. From the reviews online, it does seem to be one of those novels that really splits opinion and therefore, others views probably aren’t the best way to choose whether or not to read in this case.
So read, enjoy, and make up your own mind.