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The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Imagine yourself with no memory of your identity. This is the situation in which Addison finds herself in The Stranger in the Mirror. Any recollections about her life, before she was rescued by benevolent strangers, are gone. Addison currently lives in Philadelphia and is engaged to be married. She is experiencing fleeting moments of perturbing images. She wonders if memories are trying to break through into her conscious awareness, or if her imagination is conjuring the images. At the same time Addison is dealing with amnesia and its effects on herself and others, another person is facing challenging circumstances. Julian’s wife disappeared without a trace, and Julian has made it his number one priority to track her down. He lives in the Boston suburbs with his seven-year-old daughter. When Julian shows up and claims Addison is his wife, lives are thrown into upheaval. Is Julian’s allegation true? Remembrances of Julian and his daughter elude Addison. What does it mean for Addison and her fiancé? Will Addison stay in Philadelphia or try and embrace her supposedly past life? Will Addison ever recover her memories?

The Stranger in the Mirror is a complex story with emotional and suspenseful ups and downs that range from happiness to disconsolateness, gut-wrenching moments, cloak-and-dagger actions, challenging and stressful situations, and complicated relationships. Readers gain insight into how an unforeseen traumatic event could impede a person’s ability to recall their past and the impact it would have on their mental and emotional health. Readers also get a first-hand look into the dramatic impact on the lives of the individuals encountering someone who is struggling with a sudden and profound loss of memory.

Liv Constantine is an accomplished storyteller, and she crafted a top-notch novel that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go. The story is told from the viewpoint of three characters, which allow readers to get to know and understand these characters through their thoughts, feelings, and actions. The use of multiple points of view is not confusing as each chapter is labeled with the character’s name. Constantine’s skillful use of sensory language makes the story come to life. The book moves along at a fast pace with the tension building up to a thrilling and perilous climax. Great plot twists keep readers guessing right up to the end when all is revealed. This is a compelling and harrowing page-turning tale with psychological factors that add to the overall appeal of a story you will not want to miss.

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