Below is an extract from the book, followed by a link to my review.
READ THE EXTRACT
Year 11 leavers’ day, and everywhere you look girls are writing on each other’s shirts in felt-tip pen, drinking from Coke cans I think they’ve filled with something else, throwing flour bombs out of top-floor windows. I sit on the bench below the library window and watch. They’re all going up to the rec later to get drunk – I’d heard them talking about it in the loos. They hadn’t asked me, but I don’t really mind because Mum always worries if I’m back late. I see Nicola Gates over by the water fountain, but she turns away when I wave.
And that’s when I first see Edie. Walking across the forecourt in the direction of the main doors. As I watch, her face appearing then disappearing behind others in the crowd, she stops, her eyes squinting up at the building before darting around herself again and then finally landing upon me. I hold my breath. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so pretty before, not in real life.
Then there she is, standing right in front of me, and at first I’m too distracted by all the different parts of her to take in what she’s saying: the smell of the leather jacket she’s carrying over her arm, mixed with something else, something soft and appley, her eyes, big and golden brown with lots of black eyeliner, pale mauve varnish on her nails. In the hollow of her clavicle is a little gold locket with a tiny green stone in the middle. If you were to put your finger beneath it you’d feel the jump jump jump of her pulse.
‘Sorry,’ I say. ‘What?’
She smiles. ‘The office. Where is it?’ Her voice is clear and sure with a northern accent – Manchester maybe.
Of all the people she could have stopped to ask, she’d picked me. I get to my feet. ‘I’m going that way myself,’ I tell her, though I wasn’t. ‘I’ll walk with you if you like.’
She nods, shrugs. ‘Yeah, OK. Ta.’
As we walk, I see Sheridan Alsop and Amy Carter standing by the water fountain. They stop talking and watch us as we pass. I have a mad impulse to link my arm through hers, this stranger who walks beside me, and I imagine us strolling along like that, arm in arm like best friends. How amazed Amy and Sheridan would be to see that! I don’t though, of course. People don’t like it when you do that sort of thing, I’ve realized.
‘My name’s Heather,’ I tell her instead.
‘I’m Edie. Well, Edith really. But how lame’s that?’ She looks around herself then shakes her head, ‘Bloody hell, this place.’
‘Yeah,’ I say. ‘I know! Totally lame, isn’t it? Are you going to come to school here then?’
She nods. ‘Starting my A-levels in September.’
‘I’m doing my A-levels here too! What’re you studying? I’m taking Biology and Maths and Chemistry. I was going to do a language as well but Mum and Dad said it was pointless because it’s not what I need to read Medicine at uni. Best to concentrate on just the three. What with all my volunteering work and everything too. I’m going to be a doctor one day and—’ I stop myself, my mouth snapping shut. I always talk too much Mum says. I bite my lip, waiting for Edie to look at me the way the other girls do.
But she doesn’t, she only smiles again. Her long brown hair swings in front of her face and she pushes it away, tucking it behind her ear. ‘I’m doing Art,’ she tells me. ‘And photography. I’m going to go to art college in London. Saint Martins probably,’ she adds with breezy certainty. And she explains that she’s recently moved down here to Fremton from Manchester with her mum. She has this way of talking, like she’s a bit bored by everything, looking around herself like she finds it all a bit of a joke, but all the while glancing back at me, including me as if I’m in on the joke too. It’s nice. I could stare at her for hours.
We’ve already reached the office, even though I’d taken her the long way round. ‘It’s in here,’ I say, and I’m about to tell her that I’ll wait for her, that I’ll show her around after if she wants, but she’s already moving away. ‘OK. Thanks, yeah?’ she says. ‘See you later.’
The door swings shut behind her. Edie. Eedee. I turn the word over and over in my mind on the walk home, trying it out for size, tucking it away for safekeeping like it’s a precious locket on a fine gold chain.
By Camilla Way
Published by Harper Collins (28 July 2016)
THERE ARE SOME FRIENDS YOU’LL NEVER FORGET…
NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY
Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed.
Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.
Edie or Heather?
Heather or Edie?
Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?
Reviewer taster: It's a totally bewitching book about friendship, lies and secrets... The writing is chilling, disturbing and unsettling.
Read my full review here.