In 2013, twenty-three-year old Molly Diamond is a barista, dreaming of becoming a writer. One night at a concert in East Williamsburg, she locks eyes with the lead singer, Jake Danner, and can’t look away. Molly and Jake fall quickly and deeply in love, especially after he writes a hit song about her that puts his band on the map.
Nearly a decade later, Molly has given up writing and is living in Flynn Cove, Connecticut with her young daughter and her husband Hunter—who is decidedly not Jake Danner. Their life looks picture-perfect, but Molly is lonely; she feels out of place with the other women in their wealthy suburb, and is struggling to conceive their second child. When Sabrina, a newcomer in town, walks into the yoga studio where Molly teaches and confesses her own fertility struggles, Molly believes she’s finally found a friend.
But Sabrina has her own reasons for moving to Flynn Cove and befriending Molly. And as Sabrina’s secrets are slowly unspooled, her connection to Molly becomes clearer––as do secrets of Molly’s own, which she’s worked hard to keep buried.
Meanwhile, a new version of Jake’s hit song is on the radio, forcing Molly to confront her past and ask the ultimate questions: What happens when life turns out nothing like we thought it would, when we were young and dreaming big? Does growing up mean choosing with your head, rather than your heart? And do we ever truly get over our first love?
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
Can’t Look Away by Carol Lovering is a domestic suspense novel that tells the story of Molly Diamond, Jake Danner, and Sabrina – how their lives connected, intersected, and impacted each other.
Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
The cover of Can’t Look Away is of an eye peeking out of a gap, giving me total peeping tom vibes. The blurb calls it a sexy suspense novel which I find intriguing and supports the peeping tom vibe of the cover.
Actual Reading Experience:
I think that my initial expectations were very close to my actual reading experience. I’m not sure how much of a thriller it is, but I did enjoy the suspense and the many twists, turns, and revelations in this story. I was hooked from page 1 and stayed focused on the story until the last page, leaving me with a creepy feeling once I took in the full ramifications of it. I do love a creepy ending!
Technically, the story is told through three points of view – Molly, Jake, and Sabrina – but only Sabrina’s chapters are in first-person narration. I think using this technique kept the suspense so high throughout the story. Sabrina’s mind and thoughts are very concerning in many senses of the word. I was always worried about what she would do next. If I knew anything, I knew that she was highly unpredictable.
The telling was a bit confusing initially as the story switched through timelines and points of view fairly quickly. Though I enjoyed learning the back story and all the secrets that came from that, I struggled to follow along at first. Eventually, I got used to the flow and found it much easier to follow.
There are only a very few things to figure out in this story, so mostly it is the type of tale you’ll want to just sit back, enjoy the ride, and marvel at the way lives intersect and impact one another.
The relationships between the characters are even more important than the individual characters. An assortment of healthy and unhealthy pairings each bring their own challenges and secrets to this story. The characters are pretty well developed, particularly Molly, the main character. We know a great deal about her past and how it worked to form the many layers that make her the complex person on the page. She is relatable and even likable.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you are looking for a novel full of suspense with a solid romantic plotline, Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering is just what you are looking for.