We meet Olivia Tate in her apartment. She has an unstable existence, feels insignificant and alone. Painful memories wake her at night when the nightmares come … nightmares that cause her physical pain. Her life is automatic. She has erected a barrier between herself and life. She realises that she can’t remember what she looks like and is shocked that she’s become invisible, not just to the world, but to herself as well.
An incident in the coffee shop where she works leads to a crises that is ultimately the turning point in her life. ‘Saved’ by the enigmatic Jude, the reader journeys with Olivia as she breaks out of her self-made solitary confinement on a healing journey with Jude playing a key role.
Who is Jude? The first incident that causes the reader to realise there is more to Jude than his film star looks and Olivia’s saviour is after he drops Olivia back at her apartment after leaving the hospital. He returns the van keys to a homeless man who is begging on the street. Why? Who is the homeless man? Why does he lend his van (which by the way is immaculate)? Then, Jude asks him to get an apartment for him. What is their relationship? Why is this man begging when he obviously holds power? Is there something sinister going on?
I had a couple of ideas on what was behind the mystery surrounding Jude, wavering between them and at times confusing myself. The intrigue keeps you guessing and makes you want to turn those pages. I have to say that one of my ideas was correct so when it came, it wasn’t a total surprise. If you’re a regular reader of my reviews you’ll know I love inference in stories!
The developing emotion between Olivia and Jude is very innocent but very powerful. We gradually see Olivia grow from a young woman who handles life by going home to her apartment and hiding under the covers … to interacting with life and realising that despite the severity of her losses in the past, she can engage with life again.
When we are with Olivia, we are reading from her perspective (first person narrative) but with Jude, it’s written in third person. This allows us to not only get to know Olivia but also get a more in-depth picture of Jude.
Emerald City is a love story with a difference. It’s this ‘twist’ that makes Olivia’s story unusual. Be prepared to take a step out of reality!
I would like to thank the publisher for approving my Netgalley request