I received a copy of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough in my March box of Novel Editions. If you want to hear more about the box and service, check out the Time For Tea blog post from this Tuesday.
The book is about a single mother, Louise, who kisses a man, David, at a bar. Later, she finds out he is her boss…and also married. She interacts with David’s wife Adele, and soon the stakes seem higher than she thought.
Immediately with this book I was worried about whether or not I would like it. This is something that will sometimes comes up while reading, but whenever I read a mystery or thriller novel, I always worry a little bit more. Why? I have said it here before: I always try to guess the ending. It is an automatic response. I want to know who committed the crime, I want to know the twist, et cetera.
Well, the good news with Behind Her Eyes is I did not guess the ending of the book. That said, I do feel conflicted about the book as a whole. I will say I love the premise of a woman finding herself in a darker situation after kissing a married man at a bar. It could have very easily just been your typical boy kisses girl and the two embark on an affair, then somehow it either fizzles out and he stays with his wife or everything explodes and he leaves his wife for the girl at the bar.
However, I feel like at a certain point I could have done without the add-ons, though I cannot explain what they are for fear of spoiling the ending. I did think to myself something along the lines of “so what just happened?” when I finished the book before I fell asleep for the night. But there were two sides to that coin. On the one hand, I like how I was wondering about the book, and still am a little bit. On the other, I keep wondering if it was a little too out there for my personal tastes. You know how that feels?
I will say I liked the style and quality of the writing in Behind Her Eyes. I do think Sarah Pinborough did a good job at crafting her story, even if I feel conflicted about certain portions of it. I feel like if this book had not put in the seemingly supernatural aspects, I would have enjoyed the story that much more. I had no idea of this angle when I started reading the book. Sometimes this would be a good thing, but in the case of this novel I think part of my surprise was not wholly good. I think, while part of the ending was excellent and written well, another felt like overkill and somewhat out of place in my mind.
That said, I would still recommend giving this book a try. It intrigued me enough while reading, so even if certain portions did not sit perfectly with me, it did spark something. The worst thing in a book, in my opinion, is when I just do not care about any of it. This was not the case with Behind Her Eyes, and for that reason, I would still say if you like thrillers and/or supernatural stories, you might want to make time for this one.
If you do, let me know what you think! Did you see the ending coming? If you did not, what did you think the ending was going to be? Let’s talk in the comments!
Title: Behind Her Eyes
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Flatiron Books