This sounded like a spine tingling thriller verging on horror. Sarah and Angus are moving to their own island in Scotland. It’s not as glamourous as it sounds. Angus is struggling at work. Sarah is mourning the death of one of her daughters. Lydia falls from a balcony and passes away at the hospital. Lydia was a twin. Kirstie is struggling to move on. When Angus’ grandmother passes away and leaves them an island, they see it as a fresh start. They pack up their London life and head north. Very north.
They’ve picked the wrong time of year to move. It’s winter and the elements are against them. The whole story is against them. The spooky atmosphere is set and now we need scary creepy children. Kirstie doesn’t think she is Kirstie, she thinks she is Lydia. She goes to her new school and insists her name is Lydia. Her parents play along but the doubt creeps in. The twins played this game all the time, changing their identities. They only evidence they have that Kirstie survived one twin screaming: Lydie has fallen. Kirstie who thinks she is Lydia thinks she is being haunted by Kirstie. It makes sense if you read the book.
I would have been very happy with this plot. A suspenseful tale that gets under your skin, leaving you with more questions than answers. However, the ending completely changes the story. It changes it from a thrilling horror and throws it unceremoniously into the generic crime genre of ‘woman with a terrible secret’. There is big climax of chasing in the dark on the island. This is dampened by the mother’s terrible secret, the ‘cause’ and ‘big reveal’ is shoe horned in at the end. Shame. Real shame.
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher