Because You're Mine
Because You’re Mine is Rea Frey’s second novel, but the first I’ve read. Now though, I plan on picking up her first – Not Her Daughter – just as soon as I can.
Life is far from easy for single mother Lee. She works from home as a hair stylist so she can stay close to her seven-year-old son Mason who has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder. Mason thrives on routine, and coming up with a schedule that works for him while still allowing her a bit of time for herself sometimes feels like an impossible feat, but, over the past several months, Lee has begun to think she’s gotten her life down to a science. She knows exactly how long each daily task should take, and as long as she doesn’t deviate from the schedule, she and Mason can roll on pretty peacefully.
Noah is Mason’s charismatic tutor. He spends hours with the boy, helping him learn to manage his disability as well as helping him with his schoolwork. Everything about Noah puts Lee at ease, and even though personal experience has taught her that letting down her guard can have disastrous consequences, she finds it difficult to keep any kind of distance from Noah. In fact, she’s recently begun to wonder if the two of them might have romantic feelings for one another.
Grace has been Lee’s best friend since Mason was an infant. She’s also a single mother, though her ex-husband is still a part of their son’s life. She spends quite a bit of time at Lee’s house, always ready to lend a hand when Lee gets overwhelmed by the complexities of her life.
Lee honestly can’t imagine how she’d make it without Noah and Grace firmly in her corner. They may not be related to her by blood, but they’re the closest thing to family she and Mason have ever had.
Grace knows Lee needs some time away, and so she, along with two other friends, convinces Lee to accompany them on a weekend getaway, leaving Mason in Noah’s capable hands. At first, Lee isn’t thrilled with the idea of being away from her son for the weekend, but the idea of some kid-free time is too good to pass up, so she eventually gives in and agrees to go on the trip.
Forty-eight hours later, the trip is over, and someone is dead, plunging those left behind into a tangled web of lies and deceit that harkens back to a terrible experience in Lee’s past nearly ten years ago. I’m obviously not going to tell you who dies or what this tragic event was, but I can guarantee you a wild ride as you attempt to sort truth from lies, and friend from foe.
The story is told from multiple perspectives, allowing the reader to spend time in the heads of Lee, Noah, and Grace. Each character is uniquely his or her own person, with identifiable flaws and virtues, challenges and triumphs. There are also diary entries sprinkled throughout the story, but you won’t know whose diary they’re from until you get close to the end.
I loved the way the author chose to portray Mason’s disability. She allows us to see the things he finds difficult, but the book doesn’t weigh the reader down with tons of doom and gloom. I never found myself feeling sorry for Mason because of his sensory problems; instead, I focused on the things that made him his own person, his quick wit and dry sense of humor being chief among them.
I was quite surprised by a few of the novel’s twists. I did figure out one of the major plot points pretty early on, but that wasn’t enough to ruin the story for me. It’s the kind of book you’ll want to get lost in, so make sure you have several large chunks of time set aside for reading before you get started. The pacing is pretty close to perfect, and the characters are wonderfully complex, making this a book that will keep you on your toes for sure.
I was all set to give this a DIK, but the last chapter left me with some unanswered questions. It’s not that I expect everything to be wrapped up super neatly, but I do expect to be left with an overall feeling of satisfaction by a story’s conclusion, and while the ending of Because You’re Mine isn’t awful by any means, it didn’t provide me with that sense of completion I’ve come to expect from a gripping mystery. Even so, I’m glad I picked it up, and I urge readers always on the lookout for the next great thriller to give it a try. There really is quite a lot to love.