Cathy is a complete wreck. She can’t leave her home without checking the locks and the windows six times each. If she doesn’t do it exactly right, she has to go back and do it again—from the beginning. It turns out that there’s a very good reason for this. A few years ago, she went by Catherine and dated a guy named Lee. At first, he seems wonderful. He’s gorgeous and very caring and attentive. Except he’s a little TOO attentive and what initially seems flattering becomes creepy and obsessive. Because while you may think you want to be the center of someone’s universe, you probably don’t. Not really.
This novel goes back and forth in time (Cathy to Catherine and back) so we see how Cathy is now and then how she became that way.
The worst part, I think, is that Catherine tried to tell people. She begins to have suspicions about Lee almost immediately and when she shares them with her friends, they don’t believe her. They try to say that she’s just not used to being treated well and that, after all, doesn’t she LIKE being someone’s number one priority? Lee is a total catch, they tell her, and if she doesn’t start appreciating it, she’ll lose him.
There’s a low sense of unease throughout this novel and by the end, I was so incredibly creeped out.
There’s a scary movie where somewhat similar things happen. A serial killer breaks into a young woman’s apartment and begins to move things around to scare her and nobody believes her, either, except for one woman who says that when you live alone, you know where things are in your apartment. You know which book is on what shelf and where this particular object goes.
I think that’s honestly what scares me the most about this book—the fact that you can do what you’re “supposed” to do and tell people (police, friends, etc.) that things aren’t right in your relationship and not be believed. (And also the fact that the person who ends up hurting you is someone you actually invited into your life. That’s terrifying, too.)