Book Review: Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds

Format: Paperback, proof copy
Link Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: She can’t remember the last year. Her husband wants to keep it that way.

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia-she’s lost a whole year of memories. A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?

She can’t remember what she did-or what happened the night she fell. But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.


Review: What drew me to Close To Me was the premise; so many what if’s, who dunnits and questions that I just needed to get my hands on a copy to find out what was what. Jo, the main character, a fifty -something woman has had a fall down the stairs at home, hit her head and ended up in hospital. But when she wakes up, she realises she can’t remember the last year of her life and events and memories aren’t fitting together in her mind. She’s diagnosed with partial amnesia and told that the memories might or might not come back. She just has to be patient and wait for triggers to encourage the memories.

But whilst she’s battling with her own mind, she’s also suddenly got an incredibly uneasy feeling about her husband. She suddenly feels uneasy around him and at times, scared. But why? Whilst Jo is back at home and trying to recover from her injuries, bits of information start to come back to her; flickers of memories of a man, naked in bed. Was it her husband or someone else? What happened in that year before her fall and why is her husband so reluctant to help her remember? Was it her who had secrets or him?

Right, I have a lot of thoughts about this book; both positive and not-so-positive so let’s get stuck straight in. I think Close To Me touches on some really important issues and topics; marital problems, affairs, consent or lack of it, family rifts and so on. As family-based drama’s go, this has it all. I felt for Jo, despite not really warming to her as a character, I did sympathise for her massively. I even somewhat resonated with some of her feelings – obviously in a not so extreme way. Her boredom and loneliness; oh yes, I can definitely relate to that. The writing style was easy to read and it kept me invested as obviously I wanted to know what the heck was going on!

But whilst yes, it kept my attention and certainly made me keep reading, my main issue with Close To Me was that it didn’t shock or surprise me and for me, the shock factor is something I focus on quite intently when I’m reading a book. I found it quite samey and unspectacular compared to other Mysteries I’ve read especially with the unreliable female narrator cropping up again. Another issue I had was the pace and narration as a whole. It was incredibly easy to read but I often found pages and pages of nothing really going on or happening. I understand it was a slow and painful time for Jo and the pace may have been trying to reflect that slow burning trickle of information Jo was getting about her last year but from a readers POV, it was a little tedious at times.

All in all, for me, this book was okay. Not stonking brilliant but by no means rubbish. It definitely had it’s good and bad points and I think personally for me, it wasn’t my cup of tea. My main mark down was again, the lack of shock factor. Clearly I’m very high maintenance when it comes to books pleasing me, haha! Would recommend for those who enjoy stories that focus on dysfunctional families (who doesn’t?), real-life problems and nothing too outrageous or graphic.

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53 thoughts on “Book Review: Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds

    • Yeah I’m the same! Although you can certainly have books which have TOO much going on. You need a bit of breathing space but slow burning books don’t often grab me! Thanks for commenting (: xxx

  1. I definitely need to start reading more but I don’t think this would be for me. The blurb sounds absolutely amazing so it’s a shame that it is so slow. I like books that I read to be gripping from the start and gripping throughout, with a fair bit going on. I loved your review though.

    Kristy | thevioletblonde.com

    • I totally agree; I need to be gripped throughout the entire book too otherwise my mind wanders off and I find myself thinking of reading as a chore rather than a fun experience! Thank you for commenting (: xx

  2. What an interesting review! The blurb sounds so intriguing and I just wanted to know more but like you I like a shock factor and that’s something I would have expected from that book! I’m not sure now if it’s something I need to read!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

  3. The idea of losing a year of my memories is absolutely terrifying! It’s too bad this book wasn’t a bit more surprising, because from the way you’ve described it, the premise has a lot of potential to be truly thrilling!

    xx
    Emily
    emilyhallock.blogspot.com

  4. Hmmm, I don’t think this is the sort of book I’d go for normally but, based on what you’ve written, I think I’ll give it a miss! There seems to be a lot of these types of books being promoted at the moment, maybe due to the runaway success of Girl on The Train? Thank you for an honest review 🙂 xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  5. Hate it when a book isn’t what you expected! The blurb sounds so good but from reading your review, I can already guess what the ending might be, as you say it’s really predictable!

  6. The Blurb sounds familiar to a Jodi Picoult book from years ago but I am intrigued. Think I may pick it up possibly but great review jenny! x

  7. It’s a shame you didn’t enjoy it. I really want to read more.. problem with me is as soon as I sit down to read I wonder if my favourite bloggers have posted… and here I am reading your book review instead of reading one myself haha. Xxxxxx

    lucylovesbeautyxo.com

  8. Interesting, I read another book a long while ago which had a similar sort of storyline – wife bumped her head, has uneasy feeling, turns out there was something terrible going on all along – shame that you felt this was a little tedious though, it’s a good idea for a storyline! xx

  9. This sounds like a really interesting book! I must remember to pick it up when I next buy some, I have about 10 to get through as it is already!

  10. I absolutely love the sound of this book the blurb is so interesting and sounds like something that I’d really enjoy! I must pick this book up x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

  11. I’m really surprised that this book didn’t have more of a shock factor because it definitely has the potential to do so! I think the sign of a good character is when you feel something for them without necessarily liking them so I’m glad that this happened here! I might be tempted to pick this up for an easy read! Thanks, Jenny!

    Abbey 🍂 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  12. sounds a bit like girl on a train in terms of the memory loss aspect. It’s a shame it was just ok. I’ve having a bit of a book slump at the moment so I feel for you, I hope you find something fabulous for your next read!

    Hannah @ The Northern Writes | http://www.thenorthernwrites.co.uk

  13. This has such a good story line, it’s a shame it wasn’t that shocking or gripping as it definitely had potential! X

  14. Hahaha I totally get you – I’m super high maintenance when it comes to books and their pow-factor ;-). I think I would struggle not to be intrigued by this – I sometimes find amnesia as a concept in books super frustrating if it gets dragged out! It defo sounds like it had potential, I think I will add to my TBR list as it does sound quite intriguing!
    Kate
    http://www.findingkate.co

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