Back to 2000, Della remembers how her brother Brian tries to get revenge on her after she told their parents the broken guitar string.
The story shifts between her present life as a teacher and the teenage life, which focuses on her brother Brian. Although Della seems has moved on with her life, she knew that her dark secret has never left her. Then, she is forced to revisit her past when a new student Zoey just recently joins her school. Della finds Zoey is peculiar and has a lot of similarities which remind her of Brian. Zoey's behaviours are getting more suspicious; from suspension due to carrying a pocketknife to school and coincidentally, an attack occurs to a student after a party. The suspense is slowly building up, and the similarities between Zoey and Brian are slowly revealed in the story.
To be honest, when I was reading this book, it doesn't strike me that this was written by a woman author. When I was halfway reading the story, I only try to find out more about the author. Most women authors tend to include more emotions on the main character and also a lot of descriptions of the main character's appearance. This author has an unusual writing style. The main character has a strong analytical skill which is rare in most women characters written by women authors. I wish there are more women authors like her, focusing on building a rational personality instead of repetitively describing the main character's feelings and how to maintain the appearance in front of others. To be frank, those descriptions about appearances are so irrelevant for the story and the continuous rambling how hurtful when the main character faces her problems. I never found all those irrelevancies in this book which makes her such a unique woman author.
It's a significant inclusion for the story to have a mother who is obsessed with her son, and oblivious to her son's disturbed personality. It really stirs up the reader's anger, and you just want to slam on the table when nobody believes Della's account. The bits and pieces are indicating that her instinct is right, but at the same time, you just can't blame the others when she can't present any factual evidence to them. The story also has a lot of rational arguments which involves the reader to analyse the situation from beginning to the end. It feels as if you can understand Della's pain. And if you are in her position, you have to think about what you should do when you see something that others can't see. You just have to be hopeful that someone will believe you rather than thinking you are delusional.
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: What I Know by Miranda Smith.