What Have I Done - Amanda Prowse
Reading Challenge Category: Free from Kindle Unlimited
Kathryn Brooker is the headmaster's wife. While her husband spends his days disciplining unruly teenagers in the grand halls of Mountbriers Academy, Kathryn spends hers baking scones for her son's cricket match in a beautiful cottage in the manicured school grounds. In the evenings, when her husband strides home to compliment her cooking and kiss her hello – ignoring jokes from their children about grown-up lovebirds – Kathryn Brooker is the very picture of a fulfilled wife and mother. Anyone who peered through the downstairs sash window at the four figures sat easily around their scrubbed-pine kitchen table would see a happy family without a care in the world. They would envy Kathryn her perfect life. But they would be wrong. Kathryn is trapped in a nightmare. And she is about to do something to change it. Something only a truly desperate woman would do...
This book was so thought-provoking and heartbreaking. It is a book about overcoming a lifetime of misery, manipulation and torture. Kathryn has lived a terrible life, and no one knows this. She has kept a fake smile on her face until one day she can’t take it anymore. Learning of everything she had been through was genuinely horrifying and had me in tears. I wanted her to stop describing everything as it was just so powerful and tragic. The book was beautifully written; the characters are engaging and likeable. You really feel everything that is happening. The book jumps around timeline-wise, but it is executed well, so you don’t get lost with what is happening. There is the beginning which is sort of the middle of the story but ten years ago. The ten years ago chapters then become what happened before the first chapter. These are then interspersed with ‘today’ but these years are counting down as well, so seven years ago, five years ago etc. This sounds confusing, but it isn’t! It’s very well done. The chapters are quite long (there was one that was an hour and a half). So, this was slightly annoying if you only had 20 minutes to spare, you need to stop halfway through a chapter. This was done to keep the alternating sections of the timeline. It wouldn’t have worked if the chapters had been cut down to a more manageable length. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it has remained with me for a few days after finishing it as it was so heartrending! A beautiful story of a woman putting her life back together after years of grief and suffering. Highly recommend!