When Brie opened up voting for May’s book, I definitely voted for this one because it was compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, both books that I loved. Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt claims to be a “riveting psychological suspense novel,” and admittedly, I was hooked from the start. I love thriller novels, as evident by my recent obsession with Lisa Scottoline audiobooks, and I was so happy we chose to read Remember Mia for May in A Slice of Brie Book Club.
I wouldn’t go quite as far as to compare this book to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Yes it was suspenseful, yes it was a captivating read, and yes I couldn’t put it down because I needed to find out how it ended, but simply the writing wasn’t as great as the two others mentioned. I think Burt had the right idea for the book but some of her writing wasn’t as great as Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn. Nevertheless, it twisted and turned just as you would hope.
“Estelle Paradise wakes up in a hospital after being found near dead at the bottom of a ravine with a fragmented memory and a vague sense of loss. Then a terrifying reality sets in: her daughter is missing.
Days earlier, Estelle discovered her baby’s crib empty in their Brooklyn apartment. There was no sign of a break-in, but all traces of seven-month-old Mia had disappeared. Her diapers, her clothes, her bottles—all gone.
Frustrated and unable to explain her daughter’s disappearance, Estelle begins a desperate search. But when the lack of evidence casts doubt on her story, Estelle becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of the police and the media.
As hope of reuniting with Mia becomes all she has left, Estelle will do anything to find answers: What has she done to her baby? And what has someone else done to her?”
I was confused for 63% of this book. Why didn’t everyone understand that she had post-pardum depression? Why didn’t her husband see it? Why was he so angry with her? How did the memory therapy work so well? The book definitely started out slow, with lots of internal dialogue from Estelle. It was a little hard to feel sympathy for Estelle at the start because the character wasn’t exactly compelling. It was hard to picture a scenario in which Estelle wasn’t at fault for her own daughter going missing under her care, in a locked house, and everything related to Mia goes missing too.
Once we started diving into Estelle’s recovered memories it got better and more exciting. I definitely didn’t see many of the twists coming and of course, I had to keep reading to see what happened to Mia. I didn’t really understand or fully believe how Estelle could go from remembering nothing at all after her car accident, to slowly pulling pieces of the events back together so vividly… but then again I’m not a neurologist… or an author. I expected Jack and Estelle to have many more issues throughout the book, as they were a couple who had just had their child taken from them, but they actually ended up on better terms after which was weird.
The ending kind of blew my mind and left me with so many unanswered questions. I was happy that Mia was alive and well, though undoubtedly traumatized from the first five years of her life. I didn’t cry while reading this book if that is any indication of emotional comparison to other books (ahem, Inside the O’Briens). Overall, it was a decent read with the required suspense to keep me interested but a lack of exceptional writing that would compel me to find every other book by this author.