It’s been five years since SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE was released. In that time I worked on a second novel which felt all consuming to write. A year or so into the project I became terrified, essentially convinced I would never finish writing a first draft let alone deliver a completed manuscript fit for publication: I realised I had no idea how to write this novel and I was afraid of what was appearing on the page. The self doubt and hyper criticism became too much at times. And then there was the intensity of sharing head space with my characters and their lives. I wanted none of it, I wanted all of it. And yet. I kept going. Because what else would I do with my life if I stopped writing it?
She thinks of blue mountain, her favourite place. ‘We’re going somewhere where we can be safe. We never have to come back here.’ She eyes the rearview mirror, keeps a look out for headlights, keeps a look out for him. As dawn breaks over sleeping houses, Eleanor straps her infant daughter Amy, into the back of her car. Together they will escape the private hell of Eleanor’s marriage to make the drive to blue mountain, a place of enchantment and refuge that lit up Eleanor’s childhood. Can she be sure that her husband is not on their trail?
As the car eats up the long miles of highway, so Eleanor’s mind dives back into the depths of her childhood, and into her fraught relationship with her mother, Kitty. Kitty a woman who wanted so much, in marriage and in love. Kitty who always tried too hard to bend Eleanor, her brother and her father, to her image of the perfect family.
In her masterful return to fiction, Sarah Schmidt, acclaimed author of SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE reworks the classic road novel to tense, devastating, and ultimately redemptive effect.