Author: Jessica Treadway
Published: 2015 by Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, a Hachette UK Company
Read: April 2015
Why it made it to the top of the pile: We Need To Talk About Kevin is one of my all-time favourites, and this explores some of the same themes.
Categories: 10/10, Fiction, Contemporary, Crime
Full Disclosure: Advance Reading Copy courtesy Hachette Australia and TheReadingRoom
Trivia Tidbit: This book is published as Lacy Eye in the US.
Hanna is an unreliable narrator because of her memory loss, which she attributes to the horrific injuries sustained in the attack, but the reader is swept along with Hanna as she struggles to remember what happened. Did Rud do it, or was their disaffected teenage neighbour to blame? If Rud did it, could Dawn have known, and if she knew could she have stopped him? This is an intelligently written book which asks similar questions to those in We Need To Talk About Kevin, and while it deserves favourable comparisons to Lionel Shriver's book, If She Did It approaches the questions in its own way and reaches its own conclusions in a way that is absolutely satisfying from a reader's perspective.
The book explores a horrific crime and its aftermath, and Hanna's journey to firstly address the unspeakable possibility that her daughter was involved, then question her and Joe's parenting decisions and consider what possible motive Dawn could have had, and her determination to remember and resolve the questions raised - by herself, her daughters, the police, the prosecution, the media and the community - makes for riveting reading. It also asks the reader the question - what would you do? An excellent read - recommended.