I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. I was very excited to receive a copy of this book as it was marketed as a psychological thriller, a suspenseful novel for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I found both of those books to be very suspenseful with psychological twists and was thrilled for a new book to keep me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, that is not what I received with Watching Edie.
This book not only shifts points of view but also shifts periods in time. Chapters alternate between “After” and “Before” leaving the reader to wonder “after and before what?” While this created curiosity and did keep me reading, it did not create the suspense that I believe was intended. While I was curious as to what the repeatedly referenced horrible thing that had happened in Edie’s and Heather’s pasts could be, I found myself reading not because I just had to know what had happened but because after investing in over half of the book, I felt I should keep reading just to find out. After 100 pages, I was in the dark about the mysterious event that surrounded Heather’s and Edie’s departures from Fremton. After 200 pages, I was still in the dark, and after 250, I was not only still in the dark but so close to the end of the book that I took on a “might as well finish” mentality.
While the characters’ lives were intriguing, this was not what I would consider to be a suspenseful or psychological read. I also felt that there really was no heroine, good guy, or victor at the end of this book. That may not be a big deal for some people, but when I’ve spent 300 pages getting to know two characters, I’d like to feel that at least one of them comes out victorious instead of just managing to survive.
What is most disappointing is that the reader is tricked into thinking there is a psychologically unstable character when in fact it is just a depressing story about a sad and lonely woman. If you like mysteries, you might enjoy this book, but if you’re looking for the next Gone Girl or Girl on the Train, you’ll have to keep looking. It is unfortunate that this book was marketed that way. If I had gone into this book without the expectation of that level of suspense and psychological twists, I might have felt differently about Watching Edie.