“Most people come to New York to be discovered. The rest of us come here to hide.”
The seventh book of my ’10 books in 3 weeks’ project
Read on August 4th and August 5th, 2019
Lowen Ashleigh has recently lost her mother. The medical fees have left her broke and on the brink of eviction and while she is a talented author, she struggles to get known since the marketing and fan-meeting part of her career are making her anxious. After a previous meeting, readers started to publish online about her, calling her cold and haughty and with her mother to take care of, Lowen started to isolate even more never going outside. But she is now all by herself and is offered a lucrative job opportunity by Jeremy Crawford, husband of the one and only bestselling author Verity Crawford. Verity was badly injured in a car accident and is no longer in condition to finish her current popular series and Lowen is hired to ghostwrite its three final instalments under a pen name.
This job is perfect because it would allow Lowen to make big money without having to promote the book. The deadlines are tight and Jeremy invites Lowen to stay at their house in Vermont so that she could go through years of Verity’s notes on the series and get into her mind. After her arrival she realises that Verity is in worst shape than she was told, her injuries make impossible for her to communicate, move by herself, or even react or convey any emotion, it’s like she’s not even ‘here’ anymore. Verity’s fate is not the only tragedy the Crawfords have experienced, they already lost their twin daughters in different accidents, one did a fatal allergic reaction and the other drowned in the lake behind the house. Now Jeremy lives with his remaining son and Verity’s ghost.
“My mother used to say that houses have a soul, and if that’s true, the soul of Verity Crawford’s house is as dark as they come.”
While digging through the chaotic office, she stumbles upon Verity’s unfinished autobiography, compelled by her quest to get into her mind Lowen starts reading it. Chapter by chapter the draft Verity never intended anyone to read reveals bone-chilling secrets and psychotic admissions. As she reads she learns dark truths about Verity true self but also about what really happened the days the twins died, making her paranoia regarding Verity’s condition grow. She is debating whether or not she should be telling Jeremy about the manuscript, afraid to devastate him even more. But at the same time, her intensifying feelings for the grieving father and devoted faithful husband would benefit such revelations.
The thing with Verity is that I couldn’t tell which character was the most messed-up. The story was highly disturbing and so dark. I NEVER read trigger warnings because I feel they are too much spoilery, but this is the first time in my life that I wished I knew before reading. I mean, it was so horrifying that I was physically ill at the [home abortion attempt with an iron hanger and graphic child abuse and violence such as suffocating as well as the murder of a child]. I was torn between the nauseating feeling that made me want to stop my reading closing this book forever and the fever you get when you read a book you absolutely cannot put down until you’ve read it whole. I’ve always been impressed by Colleen Hoover’s work, how she puts every single part of her soul in her romances (especially thinking about It Ends With Us) but in Verity, she pushed her boundaries and brought us to a new part of her psyche.
“Some families are lucky enough to never experience a single tragedy. But then there are those families that seem to have tragedies waiting on the back burner. What can go wrong, goes wrong. And then gets worse.”
Have you read or will you read this book?
What did you think about it?