It’s my turn on the blog tour today for The Imposter by Anna Wharton. Many thanks to Anne Cater for my blog tour invite and organising my review copy of the book.
They say you can’t choose your family . . . But what if they’re wrong?
Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files the news clippings from the safety of her desk.
But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.
When Chloe’s nan is moved into care, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about. But it’s not long until she realizes this couple isn’t all they seem. In a house where everyone has something to hide, is it possible to get too close?
Anna Wharton’s debut, The Imposter, is a thought-provoking story of obsession, loneliness and the lies we tell ourselves in order to live with ourselves.
Sometimes a book comes along that you probably wouldn’t have read if you hadn’t been contacted about it by a blog tour organiser! So when Anne Cater sent an email about The Imposter (a book I’d not heard about before) I was intrigued enough about the blurb to want to read it even though I had already reached my “quota” of reads for April! And this book completely surpassed any of my expectations, delivering such a beautifully written and emotionally breathtaking book that it has reserved itself a place on my favourite books of the year list already. I knew I would like The Imposter but I ended up falling immediately under its spell-completely and utterly entranced by it from the very first page.
Chloe lives with her Nan, taking care of her in the evenings after her day job as a newspaper archivist. When she comes across an old missing child case during her working hours, she becomes obsessed with finding out more about the disappearance of four year old Angie Kyle. This leads to her seeking out the girls parents and when her Nan gets put into a nursing home, she answers an ad to lodge with them. But there are many, MANY secrets being kept and as Chloe seeks answers to her questions, it looks like someone is hiding the truth about what happened all those years ago…
The Imposter felt so fresh and different to other books within this genre and from the start I knew that it was going to be a very special read. Chloe was a complex but relatable character and I had a lot of respect for her as she handled the deteriorating health of her Nan-looking after someone with Alzheimer’s is a difficult task for anyone but for a young woman in her twenties who should have been having fun in her free time, her devotion was unexpectedly poignant. So when her attention is directed away from Nan and towards a cold case that she’s come across during her work filing away old newspaper clippings, I started to feel very uneasy. Why was she drawn to the case and how far was she prepared to go to find out more? The twists and turns that followed were totally shocking and I can’t believe that I didn’t spot what was coming before it did.
The Imposter is a brilliant debut full of memorable characters, especially Chloe. Themes of loss, obsession and belonging twist around a breathtaking tale about the secrets we keep from others and even ourselves. I read this quickly, turning the pages compulsively toward the end and the unveiling of the truth. This is a book I know I will think about for a very long time and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Anna Wharton has been a print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine, Grazia and Red. She was formally an executive editor at The Daily Mail. Anna has ghostwritten four memoirs including the Sunday Times Bestseller Somebody I Used To Know and Orwell Prize longlisted CUT: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today. The Imposter is her first novel.