The story follows Lana and her family as they attempt to get back to normally after Lara went missing to be found a few days later with a range of injuries which she cannot explain.
Throughout the book we need how such an ordeal impacts members of her family. Rather than focusing on Lana’s point of view, the main protagonist of the book is Lana’s mother who struggles to come to terms with the idea she may never find out the truth about what happened to her daughter on their trip to the Peak District where she went missing. You see how the ordeal affects her mental health as she seeks the answers she desperately craves.
Emma Healey, does a great job as developing the characters. When Lana’s mother talks about how bad a mother feels she was to her daughters, instead of simply agreeing, you can empathise with her. The same way you can empathise with Lara who at times can on the surface appear to be a haughty teenager rebelling against her mother.
Mental health plays a huge factor in the book. We find out Lana suffered from mental health issues before she appeared missing and her mother suffers from her own mental traumas. What I find interesting is the way this is presented. In most cases you would assume it would be through Lana’s eyes so we can see exactly what is going on through her eyes but in actual fact, we see it play out through her mothers eyes, which is distressing but also eye opening as it shows the support needed for family members of those who do suffer from mental health.
Set in a UK town there are a lot of familiar references which provide a comfort to readers as the book makes you want to read on but also cry in places which I adore. I do not read enough books set in the UK so everytime I do, it makes me happy.
Whistle in the Dark is the first book I have read from Emma Healey but I have already fallen In love with her writing style and cannot wait to read more from her. Which Emma Healey novel should I read next?