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  • ★★★★☆

The Confession, by Jessie Burton

The Confession is the kind of utterly engrossing book that pulls you in, to the exclusion of all else. My children were neglected for a few days while I read it.

The story follows two strands; one, set in the 80s, shows Elise and Constance, whose obsessive relationship is put under strain when they move to Hollywood, where a book of Constance’s is being turned into a film. The other strand follows Rose, three decades later, who is looking for answers about a mother she’s never known.

I loved the characters, especially the older Connie: uncompromising, flawed, unapologetic, playing life by her own terms, and I admired its attempt to redefine the kind of women we can be, the kind of choices we have.

But I was slightly underwhelmed by the end. Everything I liked about the book had to do with its subtlety and understatement, but the structure of the book is a V shape of ratcheting tension as the dual narratives lead to a big reveal, so an understated end would be tricky.

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