THIS IS NOT OVER
By Holly Brown
Publisher: William Morrow (January, 2017)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
It all started out so mundanely. A young couple, Dawn and her husband Rob had enjoyed a weekend away in a high-end beach house, and they hadn’t received their security deposit. Dawn sent an e-mail asking the owner, Miranda, when to expect their security deposit. Miranda responded with a snarky reply that it would be refunded within seven business days, as stated in the contract with Getaway.com, minus $200 for the stained sheets. Things escalated rapidly from there, with Dawn insisting they left the bedding in perfect shape, and Miranda insisting they didn’t. As the feud builds, the lives of the two women and their secrets are gradually revealed.
Miranda is fifty-seven, married to a successful doctor, living a privileged life. He provides everything she needs, with one exception. The beach house rental is hers alone, and she needs the rent money urgently to support her drug-addicted son. Her husband had long since written off the young man, and forbad her to enable him, but he is her son, how can she turn him away?
Thirty-year-old Dawn comes from a dysfunctional family. Her father was cold and distant from her until she turned sixteen, and her home was in no way happy. Rob is kind and supportive, from a middle class family who are all well-mannered, prim and proper. They consider Dawn unworthy of their son, and let her know it. As she ramps up her psychological warfare with Miranda until it becomes an obsession, he begins to pull away, siding more and more with his parents. She and Miranda begin a battle of accusations and cross-accusations that seems to have no good end.
Miranda’s irrational behavior begins to endanger her own marriage and her comfortable life. Both sides realize, at one time or another that the feud should be ended, but then one of them takes another shot and it’s on again. It becomes obvious it is not about stained sheets any more.
It is fascinating to watch the two very different women fight this psychological battle. Will they be able to stop the madness before their lives are ruined? Enjoy the read to the stunning end to find out.
The author is a practicing marriage and family therapist, and she knows her subject well. She has used her knowledge to create a believable, entertaining, suspenseful novel. She has written two other novels; DON’T TRY TO FIND ME and A NECESSARY END. Highly recommended.
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