The Life I Owe Her by Allison Meldrum

The Life I Owe Her by Allison Meldrum
Publisher: Self-Publish
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

How far would you go to repay a debt to the friend who saved your life?

What if the thing she wants is your child?

Ava and Sylvie forged a friendship that sustained them both as teenagers. But when their high school prom night almost turns to tragedy, Sylvie saves Ava from drowning and their friendship takes on an even deeper meaning. Ava is haunted by a need to repay the debt of life she owes to her best friend.

But, years later, the opportunity comes knocking and Ava is faced with the chance to make the ultimate sacrifice for a friend whose life is torn apart by infertility. As the consequences of their actions unfold, the lives of both women are threatened by an adversary who will stop at nothing to keep control of his family.

How far would you go to repay someone for saving your life? Would your repayment be to split up your newborn twins?

This was a quick novel that made for a straightforward read. Readers are introduced to a close friendship and a life saving act that seals their bond even more. Though unusual and disturbing, the author had a good idea for a plot that piqued my interest. Although I must admit it took me some time to move past the idea of Ava giving away a child to repay Sylvie for saving her life.

It was difficult to truly connect to either of the female characters. Ava Peterson was very dramatic and strong willed. Sylvie Tellier was too soft and had low self-esteem. Sylvie’s husband Michael was the bad guy. These three were in high school together, but Michael did not seem to be the bad guy then. He was mentioned as being creepy, but I never wondered why he did not have any friends of his own because he was always with Sylvie and Ava. I don’t know if the author tried too hard to make Michael seem like a bad guy, maybe I missed something. He was an arrogant prick when Sylvie mentioned their issues with conceiving, but it wasn’t until later in the story when he was made to be the villain.

The story is told from both Ava and Sylvie’s points of view. This helps explain a lot of the story and what kept the plot moving and kept me turning pages. The time span goes from 1996 when 17-year-old Sylvie moved to Edinburgh through 2011.  The book is described as a psychological thriller, but I would not define it as such. I would label it as more suspense/mystery since there were two small surprises that were thrown in, but it just didn’t seem like a true psychological thriller to me.

However, the writing was brisk and smooth, and the dialogue was insightful. By the end of the story Ava’s debt is paid for Sylvie saving her life and the author gives the story a happy ending. It is an interesting story and a unique premise; the author did a good job of structuring the plot and I saw no editing issues. The story was not bad, and I’m not sorry I read it, but it just did not meet my expectations.

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