She Reads: ‘A Simple Favor’ by Darcey Bell

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Long time, no see, readers. We are picking after She Reads’ small hiatus and hitting the ground running with this week’s story, ‘A Simple Favor’ by Darcey Bell. This mystery story is told from the three varying perspectives of the main characters Stephanie, her best friend Emily, who we later find has disappeared, and Emily’s husband Sean.

We begin with an introspective look into Stephanie’s blog, where she writes about cooking, house projects, being a mom and other aspects of her life. Woven into her posts are bits of background information on Stephanie’s new friendship with Emily and Emily’s eventual, unfortunate disappearance.

Bell takes you through Stephanie’s desperate search to bring her friend home, as she cares for Emily’s husband and son. However, Stephanie’s motives begin to shift as she uncovers more and more pieces of the truth of Emily’s disappearance, and whether it is her intention to be found at all.

This novel received a film adaptation recently but after having seen the film, and read the book once more through, I have decided (as I find most bookworms do) that the story was so much more fulfilling when witnessing it through the mind’s eye as I read.

While this book was definitely a fun read, the ending did feel a bit rushed and I probably would have enjoyed another 75 – 100 pages to fully invest in several plotlines that seemed tied off too hastily at the end, which surely would have packed the punch that Bell was aiming for.

Despite this criticism, I do recommend this novel for a day when the weather is dreary, and you have the day to pass. Reading is never a waste of time, and the pages of novels become home far faster than any of us realize. As always, please enjoy.

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