The Image of Her is a superb example of a dual narrative which gradually reveals the dramatic way two women’s lives are entwined. It is a clever, compelling and convincing novel which readers will not want to put down.
Stella opens each chapter by speaking to Connie about her life and what has brought her to a place where her only contact with the outside world is the daily drop-off from her delivery driver, Evgeni. She is reluctant to open the door and confides in Connie about her mother’s struggle with dementia and how caring for her has taken a terrible toll on her own life.
Connie is living in Dubai with her husband and young family but is struggling with what her role now is in a country where housemaids are the norm and women tend not to work. She becomes embroiled in helping a Filipino maid in trouble as a distraction from her marriage which seems to be slowly falling apart.
The two women have never met but through their stories the reader begins to build up a picture of how they might be connected and when their lives might eventually collide. Author, Sonia Velton’s, great skill is in revealing these details piece by piece so that when the reader finally connects the dots it is with a genuine gasp of surprise.
Another of the great triumphs of this book is how intimately one gets to know the characters and the sympathy both evoke as the reader delves further and further into their lives which, although may appear very different on the outside, go to show that we never really know what is going on behind closed doors.
The Image of Her leaves plenty to think about in both our own lives and those who live around us. Velton leaves readers with the feeling that we need to appreciate every moment that we have because we never know when it might come to an end.