Adult Fiction book review

Someone Else’s Life by Lyn Liao Butler

About the Book

Someone Else’s Life will publish on February 1, 2023 through Thomas & Mercer (Amazon Publishing)

A new life in paradise should have healed her wounds. But for a woman struggling to hold on to her family and her sanity, one stormy night could change everything. Blow by blow, Annie Lin’s life crumbles. Her dance studio goes bankrupt. Her mother and beloved dog are gone the same year. Then a terrible accident leaves her young son traumatized. It’s time for a change.

Palm trees, mai tais, peace and quiet―Annie should be at ease, safe in her new Kauai home with her husband and son. She hopes proximity to her family can provide them all with a sense of belonging and calm. But soon items from her past start turning up―her dog’s collar, a bracelet that disappeared years ago―and she has the unnerving sensation she’s being watched. Reality begins to fracture, and Annie’s panic attacks return. When, during a brewing storm, a woman appears on her doorstep looking for shelter, Annie is relieved to have the company and feels an unexplainable bond with her visitor. As the night progresses, Annie realizes the woman is no stranger. Their lives are inextricably intertwined―and Annie might just lose everything.

Librarian Laura’s Review of Someone Else’s Life

Someone Else’s Life takes place in the atmospheric locale of Hawaii, and during a tropical storm. The story expertly features slow-building tension which perfectly mimics the brewing storm outside, as the main character pieces together what the stranger is doing in her house. Infused between chapters are disturbing journal entries being written by someone, and readers find out near the end who that someone is. Main character, Annie, and her small family – husband and 4 year old son – have moved from New York back to her family’s home to live in the guest house on her father’s property. Annie’s relationship with her father is strained, but she is close with her sister Sam. The relationship between Annie and her husband Brody is also very rocky, and there are mentions of an accident that occurred in New York involving their young son Finn. Readers are not given details early on, but its clear that this “accident” was the main reason for the move to Hawaii and for the marital strain. What starts out as Annie’s kindness to a “stranger” with no where else to go during a storm quickly turns into a tense, dangerous situation for Annie. Her husband is stuck at the airport where he works, and she is stuck in her home with a woman who she willingly let inside. The story unfolds with suspense, as secrets are revealed, both shocking and entertaining readers. Someone Else’s Life features great pacing, a most intriguing plot, and is a must-read for slow burn thrillers.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary review copy of this novel.

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