Everything She Lost by Allessandra Harris is a book for everyone. I know this from the dedication of the novel, “For everybody who has ever been called crazy.” (loc 39). If you claim you have never been called crazy, you might be … crazy, point proven. With an assured universal readership, Harris presents both her opening scene and closing scene in a therapist’s office. It seems reasonable to expect a psychological thriller although there is no advertising blurb that shouts the message.
This novel has a 02 January 2018 release date and is a pleasant read to start out the new year. There are lots of characters, I counted twenty, in this 55-chapter 286-page book and I initially had to apply highlights vigorously just to keep up. Amazon sells this for USD 5.99 and there is not a KU option to read for free. I found the sample interesting enough to make me want to read the entire novel, but I was also happy to read the entire novel in advance for free.
The author tells a good story and distributes clues about more than one mystery evenly throughout the book. Voracious readers of this genre might find themselves led down some dead-end streets as they predict exactly what the mystery is and who is doing what to whom. Some of the mysteries are:
Is Nina going crazy or is she the victim of a clever gaslighting campaign?
Does Rodney really care about his wife, Nina? You will have to read the entire novel to form an opinion and the discovery is worth the read.
Who is Déjà vu? Getting past the name, there is a question of whether she is a true friend to Nina. My opinion changed several times, right up to the end, about this point. I wanted to give her a label, but I couldn’t decide on one to fit. Is she amoral, immoral, or just a survivor?
I predict no one will like Kevin. If you do, shame on you. Same with Gary Thompson. Same with Ash (Déjà Vu’s mom’s boyfriend)
Déjà Vu, Nina, Rodney, Nina’s mom, Déjà Vu’s mom, Kevin, Damien, and Isaiah have lost the psychological thread of accepted normality. There are some normal children sprinkled throughout perhaps to show what normal might be.
See what I mean by a lot of characters? And this is not all of them. Harris does a competent job of developing her principal characters, but I was left with the impression that she could take a few of these and write sequels in which the characters could be more deeply explored. I was very impressed by the subtlety used in exploring some racial stereotypes. She did not club the reader over the head with her views as she did not have her characters stridently and redundantly harp on sensitive social issues.
This is what I call a comfort read. I can entertain myself for a few weekend hours reading a story I know will be well-told. I gave this four Amazon stars only because I thought there were clues to some of the mysteries delivered too soon. I won’t tell you which mysteries; there are several to solve. Harris writes in a contemporary style absent of offensive sexual or graphic violent vocabulary. This is one I will recommend to my teenage son. He likes mysteries.