Sunday, 10 September 2017

Review - The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer

One fine autumn evening, Anna returns from work and starts making dinner, eager to welcome home her husband, Mark. It’s just like any other day in their ten-year, Pinterest-perfect marriage—until he says he’s leaving her.
Discovering that the man she thought she knew better than anyone else is capable of abandoning it all sends Anna reeling. She believed the life they’d built together—and the bright future they’d imagined—counted for everything. How can he walk away?
The truth is Mark is battling secrets of his own—secrets Anna knows nothing about. A painful past and an uncertain future threaten to bring his life down around him—and he’ll do anything not to expose her to that.
But unravelling the past is lonelier than Mark could ever have imagined and, as the days turn to months, Anna worries the separation will break them forever. Can she bring him back from the brink of self-destruction before it’s too late, or will she discover that she never really knew him at all?

Mark comes home and drops the biggest bombshell of Anna's life upon her - he's leaving. He doesn't want any more contact with her and their 10 year marriage is over. Poor Anna had just caramelised her onions to perfection, as well.

It took Anna a few days and many stages of grief to accept what was going on, that Mark really had upped and left. I was annoyed with Mark at this point, they had a perfect marriage, a beautiful home and he'd abandoned them - I thought for another woman or a life of crime. How wrong I was!

It turns out, well, I'm not going to say because 'spoiler alert!', but he's doing it to save her. To prevent her having to go through the most painful time in his past. He hopes that she'll just forget about him and move on, hoping that hating him would make it easier for her.

He just wanted to do one last thing for her, to find someone important from his past, someone who he feels he abandoned himself.

This book was really sad. Well written and thought out, but sad. It didn't depress me though like The Fault in our Stars or Me Before You kind of sad, the ending was rewarding in it's own way, and it doesn't leave you feeling totally bereft, but it's not light reading. It is though, rewarding reading. I loved the way that the parts of Mark's past came together in the end.

I was frustrated in parts, but all credit to Mercer, that's the testimony of a good writer when people are shouting at your characters, it shows you've developed that relationship with them.

It's definitely a curl-up-on-the-sofa-with-a-hot-chocolate, autumnal kind of read.

I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley

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