One Year later

Some secrets won’t stay buried …

Since Amy’s daughter, Ruby-May, died in a terrible accident, her family have been beset by grief. One year later the family decide to go on holiday to mend their wounds. An idyllic island in Italy seems the perfect place for them to heal and repair their relationships with one another.

But no sooner have they arrived, than they discover nothing on this remote island is quite as it seems. And with the anniversary of the little girl’s death looming, it becomes clear that at least one person in the family is hiding a shocking secret. As things start to go rapidly wrong, Amy begins to question whether everyone will make it home …

One Year Later is available to buy at Amazon and all good bookshops.

Some secrets won’t stay buried …

One Year Later is the perfect, chilling beach read – it’s set on a seemingly idyllic island in Italy. Although it’s a thriller, at its heart, what it deals with is emotional abuse and how, if left unchecked, the cycle of abuse continues through each generation. It also looks at sibling rivalry, male sexual abuse and the impact of dementia on families.

Since Amy’s daughter, Ruby-May, died in a terrible accident, her family have been beset by grief. One year later the family decide to go on holiday to mend their wounds. An idyllic island in Italy seems the perfect place for them to heal and repair their relationships with one another.

But no sooner have they arrived, than they discover nothing on this remote island is quite as it seems. And with the anniversary of the little girl’s death looming, it becomes clear that at least one person in the family is hiding a shocking secret. As things start to go rapidly wrong, Amy begins to question whether everyone will make it home …

Book Club Questions

Apart from the prologue, One Year Later, is told from two perspectives – that of Amy Flowers and her brother, Nick Flowers. Most psychological thrillers are usually narrated by a woman – what did you think about having a male perspective? What does it add to the story?

The story revolves around the death, one year ago, of Ruby-May, who drowned the day before her third birthday. Did you believe the characters’ recollection of the events leading up to her death? Were there any discrepancies and if so, did they make you question the portrayal of other events that had taken place in the family’s past?

Who did you trust in the novel and why?

The police verdict on the drowning of Ruby-May was ‘accidental death’. Did you believe this?

The characters all grieve in different ways for Ruby-May. How did grief affect their relationships with one another? Do you think it’s ever possible to get over the death of a child?

Do you think their grief can every justify a character’s actions towards another character?

How did you think the children, Lotte and Theo, have learned to cope with the loss of their sister, Ruby-May?

There are three absent characters in One Year Later – Eleanor Flowers, the mother; Ruby-May, the dead child, and Maddison, Nick Flowers’ ex-girlfriend. How did these characters, who never appear in the current story, shape the novel?

There are two characters who are not part of the Flowers family: Luca Castaglioni and Joe Hart. How did these young men fit into the story?

Sanjida Kay’s psychological thrillers feature mothers and daughters. What did you think of the mothers – Eleanor and Amy – in this novel? How are society’s expectations of motherhood reflected in these two women’s parenting styles?

The settings in One Year Later are the family’s childhood home in Somerset, Bristol, and a tiny, remote island off the coast of Tuscany in Italy. How did these locations reflect what was happening to the family?

The events that unfold are based on long-held secrets and grievances. Is it ever acceptable to act the way the characters did, given their past histories?

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is mentioned throughout the novel. How is this Italian poem used to comment upon the events in One Year Later?

The novel is ultimately about the emotional damage that families inflict on their children, which is passed on from generation to generation. Do the Flowers family eventually escape this cycle? Is it ever possible to break free from the harm caused by a dysfunctional and emotionally abusive childhood?