Some women who terrify me:
- Annie Wilkes
- Rosemary West
- Pretty much any woman who claws her way from John Marrs’ imagination onto a page.
Seriously, if I ever get a message to you that I’m in the same room as a woman I met in a John Marrs’ book, please call emergency services for me. Immediately!
Once upon a time we were the best of friends. But that was before he destroyed everything. Now the two of us are little more than the debris he left behind.
In this edition of Which Woman Needs the Most Therapy?, we meet Maggie and Nina. Former best friends, they’ve lived together for a long time. They have dinner together every second evening. When they’ve finished their meal, Nina escorts Maggie back upstairs to her converted attic bedroom. There she removes the chain around Maggie’s ankle and replaces it with the shorter one.
I have many stories inside me and just as many secrets.
When I say these women have a complicated history, that is understating the facts. Facts, which must be separated from lies, which need to be carefully teased from perceptions. Maggie and Nina are both given the opportunity to explain their current circumstances, along with pivotal decisions and behaviours that have contributed to them.
I went into this novel questioning which woman would emerge as the victim and which the perpetrator. I should have known better. The characters in John Marrs’ novels are too complex to pigeonhole that easily. With a narrative that stretches across decades, black and white quickly smudge to form various shades of grey.
I can never explain why I’ve done what I‘ve done.
I would love to spend my time here analysing the intricacies of the reasons Maggie and Nina’s relationship has devolved. I also want to brag about the reveals that I suspected from early on and ask you if you also missed the ones that failed to show up on my radar. However, everything specific I want to say about these women is shaped like a spoiler so I’m borrowing the chain that’s not currently being used to restrain myself.
When I read The Good Samaritan I was compelled to read past my bedtime. Laura continues to haunt me over two years since I finished reading her story. I expect Maggie and Nina will do the same. Once again, I’m writing this review bleary eyed. I need to read every book this author ever writes!
I have a couple of outstanding questions and would usually provide content warnings but, because they’d contain spoilers that could ruin the book for you, I will not be providing them here.
Sharing a house with a twisted spirit is better than being alone.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.
They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.
Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.
But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way – even if it kills her.
Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.