If you've read one of my earlier postings, you'll know that this was a recommendation from Standard Issue magazine (thank you!). It certainly lived up to my expectations of a thought-provoking read.

To say this was beautifully written would be a bit of an understatement. Colette Snowden certainly has got the knack of writing quiet, understated terrifying scenes. I really can't remember reading anything quite so shocking as the pink gerberas for a long time - it just sucker-punched me.

I liked the way that Snowden didn't give the husband a name (if she did I missed it) - I wasn't quite sure of the capitalisation of "He" - was it that "He" was the name Marion gave him? That He was a sort of God-like figure - all seeing and to be worshipped? That by not giving him a name somehow made him, rather than Marion, worthless? Maybe He just didn't need a name - just another faceless bully and abuser? Whatever the reason, and maybe I am just overthinking it, I despised Him.

I understood the reasons Marion didn't leave, I 'got' the sense of the eggshells she was constantly afraid of breaking. The sheer terror that, even though she had plenty of opportunities, she never did just pack up and leave. Tell a person they're stupid enough times and that's what they become.

The clever use of the repetition by Marion served to highlight her insecurities and doubts about their relationship. The belief that something is rotten at the core, yet the ability only to acknowledge it in private. The constant questioning that she did trying to assure herself that she wasn't mad, that she knew the truth despite what he said to her.

Her fear of Him that meant she always had to be on her best behaviour, even when people like Mandy and Julie saw straight through the charm to the devil underneath. It was all utterly real and disturbing.

I did like Marion; she seemed like someone I could get on with, especially if cakes were on offer! She had a quick wit and seemed interested in others, which I admired. (Did I mention the cake?!)

I admit to voraciously finishing The Secret to not Drowning in a day; I honestly couldn't put it down - or even if I could I didn't want to. The emotional abuse she was subjected to seemed all too real for me just to abandon it without knowing what happened in the end.

It's an exquisite book. Needless to say I enjoyed it and I would heartily recommend it. Stunning!