Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty

The Fifth LetterA fun vacation game turns destructive, exposing dark secrets, deeply buried grudges, and a shocking betrayal in Nicola Moriarity’s intriguing debut.

Four friends . . .
Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands, and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a priority—at least for three of the women—how can Joni find a way to draw the four of them back together?

Four secrets . . .
During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendships they share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A heartbreaking diagnosis?

Five letters . . .
Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace—a burnt, crumpled, nearly destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It is a fifth letter—a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do?

Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with unforeseen consequences . . . and things will never be the same.

Shona's review 4 of 5 stars

This was definitely a compelling read, I was hooked in by the blurb and once I started reading I couldn't put it down, I needed to know what was in that fifth letter, who wrote it and who they were talking about. So much so that I devoured this book in one day.

I found the beginning of this book a little jarring, it jumps between the four girls on holiday and Joni talking to a priest in the confessional box. I wanted to just get stuck in to the story and it felt like the switching prevented that, but it didn't take long before we really got in to the story, I'd almost forgotten that there was a confessional and priest involved . Personally I don't think the priest scenes were needed, the story was strong enough without them for me they were a distraction from the main story.

It quickly became clear that all of the women were liars... some were hiding small lies, some were hiding whoppers, for the most part the only person they were hurting were themselves and I felt genuinely bad for them that they felt they needed to hide their secrets form their friends.

With the arrival of the fifth letter I was a little disappointed with how it was handled... I thought we would see the groups reaction to that letter, but instead Joni deals with it by herself and it takes several weeks before she confronts who she sees as the guilty party. The final confrontation between the writer of the fifth letter and the person she wrote about was almost over before it began. 

Overall I felt the climax was rushed and then the final scene was a little too much like a forced happy ending, although it was more than a little satisfying to see.

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