Book Club: Never Let You Go
Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
I love thrillers and suspenseful stories. Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and the like are my favorite books! I was recommended this book based on my love of this genre and I finally downloaded it from the library and listened to it on my plane ride to and from South Korea.
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.
Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it's her ex-husband, even though he claims he's a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?
Related post: Book Club: Big Little Lies
Prior to reading Never Let You Go, I had never read a book by Chevy Stevens. I went and looked for all of her books now because WOW!
I don’t know what it is about stories of domestic abuse in particular that fascinates me. I think it’s the fact that no matter how strong or how smart a woman is, domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Usually abusers don’t start off being abusive or angry. They tend to charm their way into their victim’s life and through the course of years, often, slowly isolate their target until they are stuck with nowhere to go. Never Let You Go describes the descent from loving relationship to terrifying domestic abuse situation in a way that’s so real and also at the same time, very familiar. Lindsay married her charming husband who became more and more angry and controlling over the years. Even something like ending a kiss before he does could set him off. She finally manages to make her escape with their child, six year old Sophie, from him by slipping him a sleeping pill into his alcohol. He wakes up and drives after her but crashes his car into another, thereby killing the other driver. He is sent to prison and Lindsay and her daughter start their lives anew in another town.
Ten years later, Andrew is free and moves to her town. Lindsay feels like she is being stalked and watched. Sophie, not knowing any better, makes contact with Andrew and this amplifies Lindsay’s anxieties.
Related post: Book Club: I’ll be Gone in the Dark
This book is about more than just a toxic relationship between Lindsay and Andrew. It’s also about Lindsay and Sophie and how their mother-daughter relationship develops more throughout the years as Sophie matures. Lindsay and Sophie also develop relationships with other people, including friendships and romantic relationships. It’s interesting to see the two central characters grow both together and independently, even when their decisions (ahem Sophie) annoy and frustrate me.
The book goes back and forth between past and present and is told in alternating first-person narrative of both Lindsay and Sophie. This is not confusing to read at all though and I followed along seamlessly - even as I grew tired from my long 14-hour flights! There’s a HUGE twist at the end that I seriously did not see coming (and I can usually see twists coming) that realllllly made me forego sleep after I got home from Seoul! That’s how good this book is! I can’t recommend it enough, especially if you’re into thrillers and suspenseful books like me!