Cassandra questions her sanity when Ellie moves into the village. Is she going mad, or is Ellie trying to make her think that’s what is happening?
Cassandra is contentedly married to Dan, and they rub along together in a sort of comfortable middle-years manner. With her fledgling gardening business, she's trying to help Dan weather the economic downturn in his advertising agency and support their daughter's final college year. Everything is pretty much "normal," dull even—until Ellie arrives in the village. Ellie is writing a novel and, with her self-professed expertise in uncovering other people's secrets, she always likes to place herself in the center of the plot. Cassandra thinks she might be a little too much in the center when she discovers that Ellie is writing about her, Dan, and Laura, which it seems that Ellie wants only Cassandra to know. Along with hurtful coincidences, misunderstandings, and increasing alienation, Cassandra reasons that Ellie wants to drive her mad. Perhaps if Cassandra hadn't suffered from severe postnatal depression, and perhaps, if she truly believed that Dan never had that affair in Rome, she might not have felt so vulnerable and suicidal all those years ago. She also wouldn't be able to recognize the signs of an imminent relapse, a relapse triggered by Ellie who is out to destroy her life and steal everything Cassandra holds dear. Written in the tradition of Maggie O'Farrell and Louise Doughty, this is psychological suspense at its very best.