This review is written with thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley for my copy of Watching Edie.
In sixth form, Heather and Edie were best friends. Heather looked up to Edie and admired her ability to be friends with everyone, whilst Edie felt that Heather was the only one who understood her fractious relationship with her mum. But one night, everything changed. Sixteen years later, Edie is pregnant and wants to move on and build a life with her new baby. One day, Heather appears on her doorstep asking to stay. What does she want from Edie? Can they both move on?
Throughout Watching Edie, Way builds suspense for the reader in numerous clever ways. Firstly, the "before" and "after" sections of the novel make it clear that what happened between Heather and Edie was serious, but the events that caused their relationship to break down are not revealed until the end. I found that this technique drew me in, particularly as the situations in which the teenage girls found themselves became darker. Secondly, Way encapsulates the dark mood of the novel with expertise through her descriptions of the surroundings; the weather, the quarry, and the block of flats in which Edie lives. The atmosphere allows the reader to feel the same foreboding in the environment as Heather and Edie, and this helped me to connect and empathise with them.
Watching Edie is narrated in first person by Heather (the "before" sections) and Edie (the "after" sections). I felt this was effective, as it allowed me to understand the motives of each character, especially in situations which seem dangerous or the justification is not immediately obvious. As such, I was able to empathise with them further, and this made the novel more engaging for me. The development of characters, such as Monica and James, provides Watching Edie with extra layers as it progresses, and these gave me several issues to consider as I was reading.
Overall, I found Watching Edie a thrilling read, whose characters really get inside your head and keep you guessing and engaged until the final page.
Watching Edie is published today (28th July) and available from Amazon.