Thank you to everyone who urged me to read Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. This was hands down the most original take on a domestic thriller I have ever read!
Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.
When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar, who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.
And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before.
David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him?
As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.
This sounds eerily similar to Behind Closed Doors and while reading it, I couldn’t help but think that this was everything I wanted Behind Closed Doors to be. It was dark, gritty, and truly stumped me. I have never been so lost while reading a book in my life.
The main characters all balanced each other nicely. Louise was meant to be the savior. As well as the most human character. Even understanding her confusion about her situation, there were times in which I found myself annoyed at her inner monologue. She kept going back and forth about whether or not to continue her affair with David or cut off her friendship with Adele. However, I did appreciate it at the same time as she was in a pretty tough situation. One I have never been in myself.
David, while of course important, seemed like he was just there. Without him, Louise would have never met Adele. The whole “is he abusive or is the wife actually insane” aspect wouldn’t have been possible either. Outside of these two major plot points, I didn’t really care for him. He was often rude, selfish, and had nothing going for him.
I don’t think there are words to describe just how fascinated I was by Adele. My favorite parts of the book were her chapters. How nonchalantly she would admit something dark and proceed to back that up with her backwards moral reasonings. She was passionate to a fault.
This mixture – the savior, the drunk, and the dark enigma- made for an explosive story. Each needed the other two to reach their ultimate goal and move this story along. This dynamic between them alone would have made for an interesting story. But it was Pinborough’s weaving of the, let’s say otherworldly, elements that took this book to a whole other level.
I loved the incorporation of dreams into this novel. It was done in a way that seemed entirely plausible nor was it too much to read about for someone unfamiliar with these subjects. This element coupled with the unraveling of Adele made this an incredible book.
What would have been the firecracker reveal before the ending was just the beginning of this sordid tale. This is one book that truly keeps you on high alert the entire time. I found myself not reading this one as fast as I normally would have because I didn’t want to miss out on the tiniest clue. I was obsessed with her nuanced writing. Pinborough can take you out of your every day life and insert you into a different world that completely envelopes you.
Behind Her Eyes requires you to open your mind to all the possibilities presented to us in dreams. I don’t want to go too in-depth and ruin the fun realization you’ll have. But just know, this is a very untraditional book that will ask a lot of you. The payoff is so worth it.
I was buzzing in anticipation of the ending. I had heard from countless people how insanely shocking this ending really was. This is a two-fold ending that keeps going when you thought it was already done, revealing an ending that rewrites everything you thought you knew about the story.
It’s that good.
With this being an untraditional take on a domestic thriller, I wanted to pair this with an untraditional red wine. I hoped to find a sparkling red wine, but I was not that lucky. Or maybe I was, seeing as I instead found The Dreaming Tree Cabernet.
This one was picked due to its name, playing off the heavy dream element present in the novel. Cabernet is my go to wine. It always delivers a rich a taste and is overall just a comforting wine selection. The Dreaming Tree Cabernet has a heavy, bold taste thanks to the toasted-oak, bitter chocolate, and slight fruity taste. It’s the perfect deep wine for a dark story.
If you’ve read Behind Her Eyes, I would love to know your thoughts on this book! If you haven’t read it yet, will you be adding it to your tbr?