Book Review: THE TESTAMENT OF VIDA TREMAYNE BY SARAH VINCENT
My Thoughts on this wonderfully written psychological thriller ...... THE TESTAMENT OF VIDA TREMAYNE BY SARAH VINCENT Publisher: Three Hares Publishing Published: 7 Nov 2014 Pages: 339 (ebook)
A lonely novelist, A devoted fan, A journal that speaks of unspeakable things…
Author Vida Tremayne lies silent in a hospital bed. The forces which brought about her terrifying decline are shrouded in mystery. Meanwhile, her estranged daughter Dory is forced to abandon her fast paced city life to be by her mother’s bedside. Dory is resentful. She hates the country and she and her mother were never exactly close. Luckily Vida already has a carer, the enigmatic Rhiannon Townsend. A long-standing fan of Vida’s, Rhiannon is happy to take care of the bedside vigil. Dory is free to resume her life. Or is she? Then she discovers her mother’s journal. Vida’s chilling testament reveals the trigger for her spiralling into madness. It also reveals the danger that still lurks close by. A danger that will call on Dory’s every reserve of courage if she’s to free her mother, and maybe in doing so, to free herself.
The Testament of Vida Tremayne begins with Dory arriving at her mother's cottage to sort out her affairs. Her mother Vida Tremayne, the award winning novelist, is in a catatonic state in hospital but there is no love lost between mother and daughter, Dory's been dreading this moment, she feels sick but why? Already I'm intrigued and curious. She's rarely visited the house on the isolated Shropshire-Welsh border since her mother moved there.
She has a shock when she discovers someone living in the cottage, Rhiannon, who at first appears very willing and anxious to help Dory, who is herself relieved that she can share the burden with Rhiannon. She resents her mother's breakdown, having to visit her, be away from her work and is only too happy for Rhiannon to take all the responsibility from her.
Vida's diary entries give us a real insight into her life and meeting Rhiannon, how lonely she was after her husband left her, how selfish and moody Dory was, how she seems to despise Vida. I felt so sorry for her and really disliked Dory from the start.
But the crux of the story is what happened to Vida, what kind of terrible situation had shocked her so much to put her in a silent world in hospital? The diary entries slowly build up a picture of Vida's life and mental state, how Rhiannon gains her trust, but can she really trust her or is she imagining situations?
I felt the whole story was compelling, the writing was so descriptive and brought the characters alive, the atmosphere was chilling in parts. I changed my mind several times as to what I thought was happening.
Midway through the book I did wonder where it was going, what the writer was trying to say and my concentration did wane slightly but the plot picked up and the tension was eked out till the end.
Overall, a well-written atmospheric psychological thriller.
My thanks to the author, Sarah Vincent, for sending me this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Sarah Vincent has two grown up children and lives in the South Shropshire countryside with her husband and her Jack Russell terrier, Beryl. She writes in a converted coal shed at the back of the house. In the early days she juggled writing with various jobs as a care assistant, school dinner lady and museum guide. For the past twelve years she has worked as an editor for two leading Literary Consultancies. She also teaches Creative Writing online, and gets a buzz out of helping new writers achieve their goals. She loves world music, and visiting art galleries when she’s in town. Her greatest thrill though is going off-grid for a few days, and camping in remote places in her tiny caravan.