The Mistake I Made
by Paula Daly
We all think we know who we are.
What we’re capable of.
Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. She’s also desperate.
Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by debt and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away.
But now a stranger has made her an offer. For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring her back from the edge.
Roz has a choice to make.
Roz Toovey’s life is a bit of a mess. She’s on her own, trying to do her best for her young son, her ex-husband is worse than useless, she is working all the hours God sends but is in crippling debt and no sign of things getting better. The final straw comes with the bailifs’ letter telling her she will be evicted from her house in 2 weeks time. But then, salvation…of sorts; Scott Elias, a friend of Roz’s sister, makes an indecent proposal: no strings attached and money to pay off her debts. What choice does she have?
This book had me hooked from page 1 and never let up. Everything about the book is totally plausible, the characters and the situation.
What a character Roz is; wonderful witty observational humour, even as she’s struggling under the weight of her life. Trapped as she is, as so many people are, by a combination of bad luck and sorry mistakes, she still pushes on trying to do the best for her son. She has so much heart; the sort of woman anyone would be happy to call a friend.
All the characters in the book are brilliantly drawn but special mention has to go to Scott Elias, the charming, rich man who always gets what he wants. Being able to pull off charming and sinister in a plausible way is a skill and Paula Daly has it in spades.
The comic humour running through this sometimes very dark tale is pitch perfect; you find yourself smiling when you probably shouldn’t be. Some of Roz’s observations when working as a physiotherapist are laugh-out-loud funny.
The setting of the Lake District, one of my favourite places, is an added bonus and brings extra life to an already luscious novel.
This is the first Paula Daly novel I have read, but if I have to I will be crawling over broken glass to get to the rest. Her writing style makes it all seem so easy. I would love to chat to her about it, preferably on a hill in the Lake District after a visit to the co-op. 🙂
I would recommend this book to absolutely anybody. I don’t often give five stars, but I’d give this one six if I could.
Many thanks to Transworld publishers for sending me a copy via Netgalley.