fiction / mystery / review

Between Two Strangers by Kate White

I swear I have really enjoyed some Kate White books in the past so I was happy to get this one from Netgalley as an ARC. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either.

I felt like this should have been two different books. One about a woman coming to grips with the ripple effect losing her sister had on her life and one book about a woman getting money from a man she doesn’t remember. Both stories were interesting but they didn’t mesh together at all. Of course, these stories do connect (although it takes until about 60% of the book before the main character thinks of this possibility despite knowing the timing of when did she did encounter the man and her sister’s disappearance) but they really didn’t need to! This would have been a good way for Kate White to do a little more literary mystery. But no, they were mashed together into one book.

It honestly felt to me at times that it literally was two different books that the author decided to join into one. In the beginning, the main character talks about how important having a child was to her and then that completely drops as the book goes on. It doesn’t even show up in the epilogue.

One plot point didn’t make sense regarding the mother of the man who died but I can’t discuss it without major spoilers so you are forewarned. Why did it turn out that his mother (and brother) were sending her threatening notes? I can see him pretending to be a reporter (it made no sense a magazine would want to talk to a small collage artist so I wasn’t surprised by that) to see what she does remember about the night her sister disappeared but wouldn’t it be better to just let her have the money? She thought for a very long time that her one-night stand must have looked her up and wanted to support her art. She probably would have kept thinking that if all this weird stuff hasn’t happened! The way the mother approached the money in the beginning (take it, the kids will be taken care of when I die, his wife has her own money and is a cheater, etc) made sense. Why not keep that up? Instead, her son confessed anyway and she is alone. The main character gets closure and cash which is great for her but what did they get out of it? Let her keep the money you don’t need and hope she uses it to move on with her life.

I enjoyed her neighbor and I felt they dropped her a lot and the end. I liked the storyline of how her sister disappearing (and being found dead) changed her life and relationship with her mom, remaining sister and stepfather. I wish that had been explored a little bit more.

I’ve noticed in a lot of Kate White books the main character doesn’t cook or grocery shop and ends up scrounging around for food resulting in some strange combinations. In this book, she eats a can of beans and a can of tuna mixed with olive oil. Which would be tasty if there were any other ingredients! Doesn’t this woman have an onion? Something? Spices? This has nothing to do with the plot but after reading a lot of her books, I’m almost looking for it.

One thought on “Between Two Strangers by Kate White

  1. Pingback: What I Read in April 2023 | Rachel Reads Books

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