Watching Edie by Camilla Way begins innocently with an unlikely friendship between two very different seventeen year old schoolgirls. These two misfits from troubled families are desperately trying to find their place in life. At first, it appears as if they may be going to help each other.
Misfit one is Heather, a secretive and overweight loner, whose parents have already planned a career for her in medicine. Misfit two is the bright and bubbly Edie whose mother doesn’t seem to care what happens to her. Edie dreams of a life in the art world but is heavily involved with a gang and her dead-beat boyfriend Connor. Heather shows a barely veiled obsessive streak as she makes her jealousy clear in this novel which echoes themes covered in Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2003.
The truth is damaged people often are much more interesting than those of us who are ‘normal’ and this unusual pair are fascinating to observe. This story unfolds with tension and suspense as the author cleverly shifts our sympathies, toys with our emotions, telling her story with clever interplay between her two alternating narrative strands, the Before and the After. Heather narrates the ‘before’ chapters and Edie the ‘after’.
After a gruesome event the girls separate and do not meet again for another seventeen years.
When we meet Edie again she is pregnant and alone. After her daughter is born, she says, “Her name is Maya and her skin is a pale rose tinted brown.” Then adds, “She’s perfect and from the time I met her, from the moment the nurse hands her to me, I know that I can’t love her.”
When she meets her old friend Heather soon after she says, “out of the blue, like a carefully aimed dart, she pierces my life again.”
If you enjoy a good dark psychological thriller, this is the book for you. If you’ve ever been truly betrayed by a friend you’ll relate on some level (and also find it a terrifying read).
Why read it?
This dark psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
About the author
Camilla Way was born in Greenwich, south-east London, and studied Modern English and French Literature at the University of Glamorgan. Formerly an editor on the men’s style magazine Arena, Camilla now writes full time and lives in south-east London with her partner and twin boys.
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