51MR5PzGNpL._SL500_Book Synopsis: “They never found Leah Parata. Not a boot, not a backpack, not a turquoise beanie. After she left me that day, she vanished off the face of the earth. A close-knit community is ripped apart by disturbing revelations that cast new light on a young woman’s disappearance twenty-five years ago. After years of living overseas, Emily returns to New Zealand to care for her father who has dementia. As his memory fades and his guard slips, she begins to understand him for the first time – and to glimpse shattering truths about his past. Are some secrets best left buried?

My Review

I really enjoyed this audiobook, and it confirms that Charity Norman is definitely one of my favourite authors.

The story is told by Emily looking back on her time in New Zealand, when she went back to look after her father following his deterioation with Alzheimer’s. 

I really liked Emily and admired her determination to care for her father, especially as her siblings were pushing to get him into a nearby care facility. As she spends more time with him, he opens up to her in a way she never experienced as a child. Sometimes he’s lucid, but other times he’s terrified, which saddens and scares her. There’s  one night in particular when she hears him crying out about something really terrible from his bedroom. Was her father expressing the truth or was it the Alzheimer’s speaking? As Emily discovers more about her father’s past she comes across some secrets that she’s not too sure she really wants to know about. But once she starts looking into them she can’t stop.

Taryn Ryan is a new-to-me narrator and although I didn’t like her Yorkshire accent for Emily’s Mum, she narrated the book very well. I particularly enjoyed her portrayal of the New Zealand characters, especially the Parata family.

Highly recommended if you enjoy domestic dramas full of family secrets.