‘What would make a teenage girl vanish into the night
and live a life on the run for two decades?’
– Gone Tonight
[ About Gone Tonight ]
Catherine Sterling thinks she knows her mother. Ruth Sterling is quiet, hardworking, and lives for her daughter. All her life, it’s been just the two of them against the world. But now, Catherine is ready to spread her wings, move from home, and begin a new career. And Ruth Sterling will do anything to prevent that from happening.
Ruth Sterling thinks she knows her daughter. Catherine would never rebel, would never question anything about her mother’s past or background. But when Ruth’s desperate quest to keep her daughter by her side begins to reveal cracks in Ruth’s carefully-constructed world, both mother and daughter begin a dance of deception.
No one can know Ruth’s history. There is a reason why Ruth kept them moving every few years, and why she was ready–in a moment’s notice–to be gone in the night.
But danger is closing in. Is it coming from the outside, from Ruth’s past? Is Ruth reaching a breaking point? Or is the danger coming from the darkness that may live in Catherine, herself?
[ My Review ]
Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen published August 3rd with Orion and is described as ‘an up-all-night mother-daughter thriller that asks the reader how well do we really know those closest to us?’
Catherine Sterling has lived with her mother, Ruth, all her life. The bond between them has always been extremely close, with Catherine never questioning her mother’s decisions. Catherine loves and trusts Ruth, but in recent days something is amiss. Having completed her nursing studies, Catherine is ready to move away and live independently for the first time, but she is concerned. Ruth is acting strangely, with her behaviour very much out of sync with the norm. In an attempt to find out what is happening, Catherine does a little bit of investigation, leading her right to the cover of a Pandora’s Box. If she opens it, what is she releasing? Why has Ruth always kept quiet about her past? What is Ruth hiding?
Ruth has lived a tough and, at times, treacherous life, struggling to keep her head above water. Ruth has her demons, ones that keep her on alert at all times. A good mother who deeply cares for the welfare of her only child, Ruth has been preparing for this moment, the moment when Catherine would demand answers about her family and her roots. Catherine is everything to Ruth and now she can feel the thread stretching between them and she’s worried for what the future now holds for both of them. Can Ruth protect Catherine forever or has the time come to let the truth reveal itself? How high a cost will Ruth have to pay?
Catherine and Ruth are two very dogged women determined to protect each other, but along the way the lies become bigger and the deception grows.
With a mother and daughter struggling to find peace, Gone Tonight is a novel about secrets and trauma, about love and fear, about a relationship built on a fragile scaffolding. A slow-burner of a book for quite a few chapters, it only picks up momentum when the first snippets begin to reveal themselves well into the book. I did have to suspend belief a few times, which did impact my reading experience with the frustration I felt. There were some interesting twists and the complex mother and daughter dynamic was intriguing as their relationship was further fleshed out and developed. Overall, Gone Tonight was an easy read but when I read a thriller, I need to be thrilled and, unfortunately this time, I wasn’t.
[ Bio ]
SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.
X ~ @sarahpekkanen