Call Me Evie by JP Pomare
Penguin Random House: 3/5/19
eBook review copy; 368 pages
Call Me Evie by JP Pomare is a highly recommended twisty psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator.
Seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet is living in an isolated beach town in
New Zealand with a man who she has to call Uncle Jim. He keeps telling
her that he is trying to keep her safe; that the authorities are looking
for her; that she needs to recover her memory and get better. She has
been told that she did
something terrible one night back home in Melbourne. She is to tell
everyone that her name is Evie.
Chapters alternate before and after; between Kate's memories of her
past, with events leading up to her current house imprisonment as
"Evie," and her present situation in New Zealand. Her past memories seem
like that of a normal teenager. There have been some difficulties in
her life, but she seemed to be handling everything fine. Her present
circumstances seem illogical and sketchy. Jim is giving her some
prescribed drugs to help her feel better and recover her memories. She
doesn't trust him, but doesn't remember the events he claims lead them
to hide out here. He claims he is just trying to protect her and they
don't want "them" to find her whereabouts. Kate is desperate to find out
what she supposedly did and get home to Melbourne. At the same time,
Jim's paranoia and furtiveness is growing.
This is a engrossing thriller that will hold your attention, if only
to try and find out the truth behind Kate's tortured memory and her
current weird imprisonment with Jim. Every character is unreliable in Call Me Evie
so you aren't going to know who to trust. Kate's memory is fragile, but
she seems like she is truthful. Jim seems sketchy, like he's hiding
something, but he seems to want to protect Kate. Who can be trusted? Who
is hiding the truth? What is the truth? When you reach the denouement,
you will be shocked.
Call Me Evie is a well-written debut novel and certainly a
page-turner, making Pomare a writer to watch. The before chapters will
actually hold your attention and keep you reading in order to understand
what has happened in the after chapters. The after chapters move a
little slowly and are written to be vague, with a repetition of feelings and actions. Additionally, a case could be made that some of the information that is withhold until the end could have been slowly released earlier in the after chapters.
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.