Beatrice Hemmings is convinced that her younger sister Tess, a vibrant, life-loving artist, would never have committed suicide. But she is the only one who believes that; everyone else believes that Tess was suffering from postpartum psychosis following the stillbirth of her child and took her own life in a fit of despair or hallucination. Beatrice, determined to get to the truth, sets out to investigate her sister’s death, relating her progress in the form of an extended letter to her sister. As her investigations proceed and everyone around her begins to believe that Beatrice, too, has been unhinged by grief, the reader will wonder the same thing. Was Tess murdered? Is Beatrice simply unable to accept the truth? Not until the explosive and gripping conclusion will the answers to everyone’s questions become plain.
Literary, intelligent, and defying easy genre classification, Lupton’s debut is both a moving meditation on grief and also a gripping psychological thriller. Recommended.