Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis Review:

Goodreads Book Blurb:
An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again? Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family - especially her flawed twin sister Caroline who always seemed to hate her? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?

Genre - Mystery/Drama/Woman's Fiction

3 Stars!
Tragic and Moving!

NOTE: One Step Too Far is Tina Seskis debut novel. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review by through NetGalley.

The Review:
I liked this read, but at the same time, I was a bit disappointed. From the blurb, you expect a powerful story with a surprising twist and though this book was compelling and heartbreaking, it left me wishing for more.

One Step Too Far opens with Emily Coleman running away from her home and family, changing her name to Cat Brown and starting over some place unfamiliar. You can tell her life has taken an unexpected turn and tragedy has forced its way into her once happy existence. She’s subdued but determined for this new life she’s running to, and at times she’s scared, nervous and unfocused. Her new beginnings are anything but ideal and she has to face new challenges, stumbling along the way. You can feel the pain she’s in and the confusion that seems to envelop even the most basic of decision making. She’s soldiering on after whatever has happened to her and you want her to succeed but at the same time, I felt a disconnection with her over what she had done and the direction she takes her life.

Seeing the same vulnerability in Cat she knows is reflected in herself, Angel befriends Cat and together they form a friendship that’s both cathartic as well as alarming. Angel’s questionable life has its own seedy past she’s trying to escape which seems to bond the two in a world that’s uninhibited and liberating.

The family Cat left behind has their own story to tell and as we see glimpses into all the characters pasts, there is suffering and misfortune. The characters in this book are tested, lives are changed in split second decisions and it all starts with a slow build that ultimately ends in a disheartening finish.

I liked the different POV’s we get in this book and though the time line was sometimes confusing, I also liked the back and forth between past and present as the story unfolded. I was very impressed with the story itself. It was intense, sad and sometimes overwhelming. There is a well told mystery surrounding Cat and why she’s left her home and her family and why she changed her name and started a new life. The characters and their pasts keep you turning the pages but my biggest complaint is, about middle way of the book, the story stalls and it seems to take forever to get to the exciting conclusion. We get several clues as to what’s going on, but they are vague and didn’t hold my attention as well as I would have liked. I kept putting this book down and picking it back up. I wanted to know how it ended but I felt stuck and like it was taking forever to get to the good parts.

The Wrap Up:
This is a story about family, life and how fragile it can all be. It’s about decisions and consequences. Emily/Cat, Ben, Caroline, Andrew, Frances and even Angel’s stories are harrowing and unfortunate. Life takes many ill turns for these characters and things are not always what they seem. I enjoyed reading this book even though it stalled in the middle. I also really enjoyed the ending. I loved the British setting and references and though I was a bit disappointed with some parts of this book, I’d definitely read another book by this author.



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