Muriel’s home is as empty as her life and she terribly misses her son. Lisa is a busy mum playing with her daughter Ella in the park.Then Ella goes missing
From the moment you first hold your baby in your arms, you feel a responsibility for the life you set upon earth. You have to care for your child, protect and shield it from evil and harm. You strive to be a good parent, so how can you, even for a second, close your eyes, walk away from the life you’ve created? When something happens, terrible and devastating, there’s nothing left but pain and guilt – you feel to have utterly failed your duty of care.
A woman is powerless and overwhelmed by guilt after losing her child, realising the “invisible umbilical cord between you snaps.” Like the sun breaking through an overclouded sky, the first chapter is refreshingly light after that intriguing intro. We find ourselves with the happy family Alex and Lisa and the children Chloe, Otis and four-year-old Ella. As Ella is due to start school after the weekend, Lisa decides to spend their afternoon together in the park, doing what Ella loves: playing hide and seek. Just one more phone call to answer as Ella already has gone into hiding. Then Ella is nowhere to be found and the police have to be called in as Ella seems to have disappeared completely. Meanwhile, Muriel is drowning in her loneliness, in her empty house where her son Matthew used to live. According to Muriel, Matthew was the perfect son but we see a lonely boy, rather playing in a world of his own than with other kids.
The worlds of Muriel and Lisa collide but they are both unaware of each other’s existence. Muriel sees a girl with bruises, unattended by her own mother, and decides to clean Ella’s wounds and give her the attention she must be missing. Muriel knows this because no true mother would ever walk away from her child or close her eyes, even for a second. Now if she, Muriel, were Ella’s mother she would give her rules and hygiene and guidelines. A little girl in Matthew’s place – it feels such a comforting idea to Muriel. What follows is as intriguing as thrilling, there is a growing desperation with Lisa and her family as the media scrupulously uncover every detail of their lives and spread their accusations wildly. And there is Muriel, struggling with her past and her relationship with Matthew, desperately clinging on to that perfect image of Matthew she has. Will these two mothers’ lives ever be normal again?
‘While my eyes were closed’ is a fascinating and gripping psychological thriller you simply cannot put down. The opening of the book gives the reader the creeps and a taste of the suspense to come. You just have to know, have to understand the whats and whys. It is impressive how the author describes the ordinary day-to-day events so excellently and captivating, with empathy for her protagonists. I felt for Lisa but also for Muriel, who refuses to see truth in the eyes, who has nothing left but her memory of Matthew. No wonder he is the perfect son to her. When you think you have the story figured out it turns into something completely different and that was quite the plot twist!
About the Author
Author Linda Green worked for years as a journalist for newspapers like the Enfield Gazette, the Birmingham Daily News, The Guardian and The Independent. When her articles became stories of their own, she knew she had to follow her dreams and had to start her career as a novel writer.
|Publisher||Quercus (5 May 2016)|