The Last Time I Saw You, by Eleanor Moran
Summary from NetGalley.com
“When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?
As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.”
This book, a story entwining the lives of a very different group of people as a result of a very tragic incident, one woman whose live is the very axis around which the lives of those surrounding Olivia or Liv or Livvy to her friends will be changed forever. All of these people are brought together under the mysterious circumstances surrounding Sally’s death, all woven together in a seemingly forced fashion to assist Sally’s now widower husband, William and their daughter, not only sort through her affects, but the very mystery that is her death and the life she led beforehand. The Last Time I Saw You is the third novel I have personally read as of late that centers around a woman with Bi-Polar Disorder. And, from these I have discovered this mental illness tends to present itself in very different fashion person to person – with one common theme between all three of them, these women tended to latch onto one individual and push all others away. I started this journey with the first one clinging to the one she claimed to love with her whole heart, even though she was incapable of self-love, to the daughter who pushed her adopted family away when she needed them the absolute most, to lastly, Sally who latched onto Livvy like she was a new toy, letting her go when a new shiny toy came along, only to return to Livvy when that relationship fell apart – this pattern continued until her relationship with Livvy became toxic to Liv. This back and forth could have been a symptom of her hidden mental illness.
I found reading this narrative to be a tad on the dull and somewhat confusing side – the author bounces the reader between past and present in order to showcase Livvy and Sally’s relationship and how it affects present-day Livvy. All the while we are “hearing” about Livvy’s less than glamorous work life clashing with her would be social life and her long-time yearning for something more than friendship from her best friend/roommate James. The book never really hit its climax, I kept itching for the author to hit that final big arc in the story before the conclusion, but the storyline fizzled out before that big climax came. I had a hard time getting through this short novel and will not be recommending it going forward for the simple fact that while the author attempted to showcase a best friend relationship as the basis for a romance between a widower and a best friend, the reality of the situation I believe would have continued to be a bane on Livvy and William’s relationship with the secrets Sally kept continuing to put pressure on theirs.
Two out of Five Stars
**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
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