Minotaur Books – Review: 4 Stars

Thanks so much to the author and BookSparks for the gifted finished copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and participation in the end of summer #SRC2020 blog tour. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on my blog at tacklingtbr.home.blog

TW : attempted murder, kidnapping, self-harm, death of a child, childhood trauma, gaslighting

This was a really interesting and thrilling read – a read that kept me up way past my bedtime on my last night because I needed to finish it and know how it ended before I went to sleep. It started out as a bit of a slow burn, and it took me a little while to really feel drawn in, but once the hook really got me the pages practically turned themselves, and I devoured the last half of the book.

Lets talk characters. Basically none of the characters in this book (aside from Aurelia, she’s just a child) seemed like objectively good people all the way through. Not even Emily, who is the heroine of the story. Even if the intentions had been good from the beginning, everyone had things going on, things they had done or ways that they were treating people, that seemed a bit questionable. And I think that this made all of the characters that much more interesting to read. Now obviously Emily is the most “traditionally good” character (I just think she could have been better to her parents. She was kind of a jerk to them every time we saw her interact with them, and I don’t know that I think they deserved that), and I enjoyed getting to see the story unfold through her eyes. But it isn’t only told through her point of view, we also get the husband Scott’s perspective as well, which made some of the slightly slower parts read a bit faster than they could have. His chapters felt a little bit like a peak at the wizard behind the curtain, since you know from the beginning that he is at the very least aware of whatever is happening, but at the same time he doesn’t really reveal anything so you still get to uncover the secrets along with Emily.

Now, I will say that I guessed the ending pretty early on. About 1/3 of the way into the book I turned to my husband and said “I feel like its either going to be A or B” and it ended up being the second option that I gave him. So if you are a reader that doesn’t like being able to guess the ending, then know going in that it may be a problem for you with this particular book. But that being said, I personally didn’t find that it drastically changed my enjoyment of the reading process. It just felt more like the book was confirming my theories, rather than being surprised by what was happening.

All in all, I would recommend this book to my friends. There are a few pretty serious trigger warnings attached to this read (see above), and I even found myself a bit affected by some of them closer to the end of the book while I was reading (even though none of them related to anything I have personally experienced, so I wasn’t quite sure why) so just be aware of that before jumping in. I think that the perfect way to read this book would be with a delicious, fancy wine (possibly a glass, possibly the whole bottle) by a pool or some other beautiful body of water. I mean, come on. Ignoring all of the crazy, thriller-y shenanigans, Querencia seems like a perfect place to spend a summer.


One thought on “The Safe Place by Anna Downes

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