Book Review:The Undoing by Averil Dean

the undoing

From Goodreads:

On a bitter January evening, three people are found murdered in the isolated Blackbird hotel.

Best friends since childhood, Eric, Rory and Celia have always been inseparable. Together they’ve coped with broken homes and damaged families, clinging to each other as they’ve navigated their tenuous lives. Their bond is potent and passionate—and its intensity can be volatile.

When the trio decides to follow Celia’s dream of buying and renovating the Blackbird, a dilapidated hotel that sits on the perilous cliffs of Jawbone Ridge, new jealousies arise and long-held suspicions start to unravel their relationship. Soon they find themselves pushed to the breaking point, where trust becomes doubt, longing becomes obsession, and someone will commit the ultimate betrayal.

An unflinching story of ambition, desire and envy, The Undoing traces the events leading to that fateful night, revealing the intimate connections, dark secrets and terrible lies that wove them together—and tore them apart.

The Undoing by Averil Dean is a unique book, to say the least. I found the whole concept of  starting from the end and working backwards very creative and different. Sometimes when books start at  the end, they go to the beginning shortly after, and then go forward towards the end. In The Undoing, the characters go from the end to the beginning, and then back to the end again. You meet the characters as adults and read backwards towards their childhoods. At times I was confused, and would have to flip back to the start of a chapter to remember what year the characters were in, but other than that, the book wasn’t too hard to follow.

Eric, Rory , and Celia have a complicated relationship; a relationship that made me feel uncomfortable at times. I feel as if it was risky for the author to create such an unorthodox friendship. Not only is there a weird triangle going on between the three, there are also a few other characters that play large roles in their lives, Julian and Kate. In my mind, all five characters are under suspicion for the deaths of the three best friends throughout the entire book; just when I thought I had figured it out, another character’s action made me rethink what actually happened in the Blackbird, the hotel that Eric, Rory, and Celia are renovating into a bed and breakfast.

I really felt like I got to know every main character in this book. Each character’s backstory was explained in great detail making me feel connected to them and empathetic towards them. Celia is my favorite. I love her free spirit and drive. I also just simply love her name. I enjoyed Julian’s backstory about how he is an Olympic medalist. The novel is set in a ski town in Colorado, which is how Julian comes into the story. I always read books set in beach towns, never ski towns. I never thought about how life works in a ski town, mainly because I myself have never skied before.

The Blackbird is its own character. It is a very eerie place. It reminds me of the hotel in The Twilight Zone, the Tower of Terror. This whole book could turn into an episode of The Twilight Zone but would have to be rated R for sexual content and language.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a twisty, suspenseful novel that keeps you guessing all the way through. Even at the end, I was still thinking, “Well, what if this happened? Or that didn’t happen?” I always say, books that continue to make me think, even after I am done reading them, are well written books.

The Undoing by Averil Dean will be on sale on December 29, 2015.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 


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