- Expected Sep 24, 2019
After her mother’s sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister. Overwhelmed with grief and the daily needs of Kelli, who was born with a developmental disability, Karen begins to feel consumed by the isolation of her new role. On top of that, she’s weighed down with guilt over her years spent keeping Kelli and their independent-to-a-fault mother, Irene, at arm’s length. And so when Trevor — one of Kelli’s support workers — oversteps his role and offers friendly advice and a shoulder to cry on, Karen gratefully accepts his somewhat overbearing friendship. When she discovers how close Trevor was to Irene, she comes to trust him all the more. But as Trevor slowly insinuates himself into Karen and Kelli’s lives, Karen starts to grasp the true aspect of his relationship with her mother — and to experience for herself the suffocating nature of Trevor’s “care.”
Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author Lynn Coady delivers a creepy and wholly compelling novel about the complex relationship between mothers and daughters and sisters, women and men, and who to trust and how to trust in a world where the supposedly selfless act of caregiving can camouflage a sinister self-interest.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Lynn Coady’s nail-biting read may look like a tumultuous family drama on the surface, but this is a psychological thriller with an ominous moral: Even the most altruistic acts aren’t always what they seem. Sent reeling after the death of her estranged mother, Karen is suddenly in charge of caring for the disabled sister she long since left behind. And then there’s Trevor—her mother’s former caregiver who has a way of inserting himself in places he doesn’t belong. Tricky power dynamics, questionable intentions, and the tension between guilt and love left us with sweaty palms and palpitations.