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When you’re in a bookshop, you cannot not recognize Helen Callaghan’s book DEAR AMY – capitals and the green color… it’s hard to oversee! While I was doing my internship earlier this year, one go my colleagues had to write about this book and I got curious – because of the font and because of the German subtitle that says: „If you don’t find me, he will kill me“. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? So I finally got to read the book in August. What is the story about?
Margot Lewis is a high school teacher, about to be divorced and writing the column „Dear Amy“ in a local newspaper, giving advice to her readers who ask questions. Suddenly, one of her students, Katie, disappears and a couple of weeks later, Margot receives a letter from Bethan who tells her she was kidnapped 15 years ago – and Margot is her last chance to get free! She describes how her kidnapper looks like, begs Margot to help her. The teacher goes to the police and checks if Bethan is a real girl (well, now woman). How can someone being kidnapped send her letters? Is someone kidding her? Or is Bethan really still alive? Will the police help Margot find her and also find Katie?
The story is so thrilling! Katie gets kidnapped right at the beginning and you want to tell her to watch out and not be too naive, but it doesn’t help. Then the story develops with Margot receiving Bethan’s letters and the reader starts wondering how a kidnapped girl is able to send them. Maybe it’s a trick of the abductor? Looking for Bethan becomes more and more the focus of the book and not finding Katie but we can see she’s still alive as we get to read her part of the story while she is kidnapped. But we also get to know that she will die soon. Too soon to be found?
The book is a mixture of Katie’s story, looking for Bethan and Margot’s private life. This was great as I wanted to know how each story ends and so I couldn’t stop reading. Unfortunately, the chapters were quite long (except of Katie’s) and I had to think hard at night if I really want to read another one or go to sleep as I still had to finish my master thesis by then (which I finally submitted!). But most of the time I decided to read another chapter 😉
The ending is very, very surprising. The turning point leads the story into a direction, nobody was thinking about, I guess. I was sitting in bed with my mouth open as I couldn’t believe what I’ve just read. The actual ending then isn’t that surprising anymore as you could’ve expected it. But the revelation just before… wow! It’s worth reading the book just because of this turning point! And it’s also worth knowing that Margot has been in psychotherapy when she was young because of drug abuse and hallucinations. And now, in the present, she receives letters from a girl that was kidnapped 15 years ago. Is that believable? Not really, right? But on the other hand, she’s not consuming drugs anymore…
I really recommend reading DEAR AMY! It’s so thrilling and the turning point is absolutely great. Helen Callaghan’s debut was definitely successful and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books!
Have you read DEAR AMY? How did you like the story and the plot twist?