Lead Review

  • Book: You Are Not Alone
  • Location: Cuanza Sul Province, New York City (NYC)
  • Author: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Review Author: tripfiction

Location

Content

Shay Miller is standing on the subway platform at 33rd Street. She is next to a woman, whom she later comes to know as Amanda. Amanda jumps in front of the train just as it pulls in. She dies and Shay is of course devastated. She can’t get her out of her mind, so after a little digging she discovers who she is and where her memorial service will be held. She attends and it is there that she encounters Amanda’s social group and sisters, Cassandra and Jane Moore, who seem to be the leading lights of her friendship group.

The sisters feel like one entity, righting wrong where they can – the proverbial batwomen of Gotham, perhaps. But of course they are not fictional characters (well, they are, if you know what I mean) who are flesh and blood wielders of power. They are groomed, generous and true Manhattanites (oh, if you only knew their backstory!). They appear as an amorphous and Svengali-like entity, turning up together, keeping the group of friends corralled and focussed. Shay finds them compelling and is utterly drawn to them.

As there are 175,000 people per square mile in Manhattan with 472 subway stations, what is the chance that the sisters just happen appear when Shay is on the verge of a breakdown, following Amanda’s death, just at the entrance to a subway station. She has struggled to venture into the subway since Amanda died. The chances of them turning up just at that specific moment are….? From that point on, Shay is in thrall. It also seems that she is building an obsession about Amanda which people are beginning to notice. She has after all turned up at Amanda’s workplace to elicit information about the whereabouts of her mother, she has left a Zinnia on the doorstep of her erstwhile apartment and gradually, with changes in her hair and attire she is starting to look uncannily like the deceased. Do the sisters need Shay more, or does she need them more?

The writing partnership works very well. The prose is crisp and well laid out. The story flat lined a little about 2/3rds of the way through (just too many characters vying for attention) but then it took off again and hurtled to its conclusion. I enjoyed the pace and the well plotted storyline and there was a good sense of the city.

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