Review: One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

One Step Too Far by Tina SeskisAn apparently happy marriage.  A beautiful son.  A lovely home.  So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again?  Has she had a breakdown?  Was it to escape her dysfunctional family – especially her flawed twin sister Caroline who always seemed to hate her?  

And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past?  No-one has ever guessed her secret.  Will you?

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Review

I find One Step Too Far to be one of those stories it’s hard to comment on or write a review about. I’ve been trying to put my finger on why, but haven’t gotten anywhere with it yet. At times it’s quite a depressing read, other times it’s questionable, but most of the time it’s just curious.

The secret to why Emily left isn’t revealed until almost the very end, but you get inklings from the beginning and, whatever it is, you know it’s something tragic. I have to say though, what it turns out to be is one of the theories I had come up with.

[SPOILERS] Granted there is definitely some clever wordplay and misdirection, which actually annoyed me when you come to grips with Charlie being a dog, but given everyone’s level of grief and how Emily ends up leaving, you know it has to be a tragedy that was very close to home. What better tragedy than the loss of a child? This annoyed me because I had this feeling that’s what it was and became frustrated trying to find it in the story as I was reading. [END SPOILERS]

The reason why I think One Step Too Far is mostly curious is for two reasons. One being for the writing style. I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a book with first and third narration. I don’t know if I ever really have although I’m aware that it is an occurrence. The story is set out so you get to follow Emily’s journey from her perspective, in first person, and then it switches back to different character arcs, which are all in the third person. It’s also not exactly a smooth and linear telling; the switches in the story are interchangeable between the characters, different incidents and Emily.

There are a lot of characters to follow, some of which interact with each other during scenes so it makes it easier, but when you’re not used to switching between characters so much it can be somewhat daunting in the beginning. As a writer I found it interesting to follow to see how it was done and if it would work. I’m not quite sure about mixing up the narration perspectives, mostly thanks to questioning who the hell is narrating the story, but in this case it was not hard to follow once I got into the swing of it. I even appreciated being able to glean more depth to all the characters.

The other reason why I find One Step Too Far to be curious is the whole aspect of someone going missing, not only missing, but being able to read from their perspective. I found it so easy to comprehend and, even though I haven’t ever run away or known anyone who has, the way it was done came across as realistic to me. What Emily does is more interesting than why she ran away, and to be honest, I was more invested in what she was doing and didn’t really care about the other characters even though their arcs gave more padding and information.

I can’t quite decide how I feel about One Step Too Far, the ending was full of twists and attention-grabbing incidents, the story was easy to keep reading, but the ending is on the convoluted side and I think it’s put me off to a degree. Either way I’m glad to have read the story and am very, very eager to know other reader’s opinions, especially those who don’t know how they’re affected by it.

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One thought on “Review: One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

  1. I’m glad you were also annoyed by the twist and thought the ending a little convoluted. I have to say I loved the start of this book, but became progressively more irritated with it as it got distracted by peripheral characters. I wish it had focused on being a really good ‘love conquers all in the end’ type book or ‘genes are destiny’ or, well, anything with a clear theme really…

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