Author: Joanna Nadin
Published by: Mantle Books on Sep. 5, 2022
Genres: General Fiction
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 8/10
The characters in this book are works of fiction. But, then, isn’t everyone . . . ?
1988, Pencalenick, Cornwall.
At seventeen, Jason wants much more from life than working at his father’s pub and when fate, in the form of twins Daisy and Bea and their small circle of friends, offers him a glimpse of another, more glamorous, world, he’s determined to become a part of it. It’s Daisy who Jason is most entranced by, though. Everyone is: she’s the sun around which others orbit.
The trouble with the sun, of course, is that those who get too close risk getting burned – and by the end of the summer, one of the group will be dead.
2018, Camberwell, London.
When famous actress Daisy Hemmings decides it’s time to publish her autobiography, she chooses James Tate to write it. James is a ghost writer: it’s his job to step into other people’s shoes; to tell their stories for them. And he’s good at it. Very good. After all, he’s had years of practice at pretending to be someone he’s not.
But what happens when past and present – and truth and lies – collide?
Joanna Nadin’s The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is an unflinching, unforgettable novel about the people we are, the people we’d like to be, and the price we pay for getting what we want . . .
Intricate, intriguing and twisty!
The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is an intense, complex tale set in Cornwall during 1988, as well as 2018, that takes you into the life of Jason Pengelly, a.k.a. James Tate, a working-class teen who, after getting swept up with a group of wealthy visitors, including twins Daisy and Bea Hicks, has his life irrevocably changed one night when an accident leaves one twin dead and Jason himself presumed dead.
The writing is tense and tight. The characters are secretive, self-involved, and troubled. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style, unfolds slowly into a simmering tale full of emotion, manipulation, deception, desperation, jealousy, obsession, overindulgence, social status, and competition.
Overall, The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is a captivating, eerie, bewildering tale by Nadin that does a wonderful job of delving into the dynamic relationship between sisters, especially twins, and reminds us that we only see what people want us to see, and even then we only see what we want to see.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.