The book should come with a warning sign. The novel isn´t the bright and nice story you might expect. Not with pedophilia as one of the main topics. Paige Toon puts a finger on all the dark things that come with that and the other theme of Siamese twins. Shows the psychological side of both and how two figures try to come to terms with that. Still not sure, if she was successful.

Ich In Deinen Augen*
by Paige Toon
Translation Heidi Lichtblau
Original Title The Minute I Saw You
Publisher Fischer Krüger on October 25, 2023
Genre Novel
Pages 413
Format Paperback
Source Fischer Krüger

Sonny is attractive, self-confident - and only in town for the summer. The perfect opportunity for Hannah because she doesn't get involved in long-term relationships. Neither does Sonny. But the better they get to know each other, the more attracted they become to each other. Both have to struggle with demons from the past. Does their love still have a chance? (personal translation ©Vi at Inkvotary)

Hannah has come to terms with her demons. But her family hasn´t and so her uncle wants her to finally find a way to live with them without harming the entire family structure. But Hannah is hesitant to get into the absolute dark part of her nightmares. It is too painful. Maybe Sonny is the one who can finally help her? Or is he having some demons of his own?

Paige Toon uses a simple writing style here that reads clearly and yet is strangely melancholy. She hints at many mysteries, but it takes almost half of the novel before she begins to clear things up. In combination with pedophilia (sexual abuse of children) and that of conjoined twins, the author walks a fine line when it comes to dealing with the two main themes. Not always well solved, but the psychological component is probably not easy to handle here either. Unfortunately, this makes the story seem very overloaded in some places. Sometimes less would definitely have been more.

The author packs a lot of different characters into the story. And almost everyone has a problem with each other in one way or another. I found that a bit tiring in the long run. Especially since the novel also has some heavy topics as a background and the two main characters are already fully occupied with them.

At first glance, Hannah seems like an ordinary young woman. But appearances are deceiving. She has a lot of problems, and it scares some people around her. When she gets to know Sonny's daughters, it's clear that Hannah is hiding something from him too.

A solid novel that tackles several heavy themes. One or the other would have been enough for my taste. But both together? On the other hand, Paige Toon wrote sensitively about all the problems, although often very dark and melancholy. Just read it for yourself and form your own opinion.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer Krüger in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Paige Toon verwendet hier einen einfachen Schreibstil, der sich klar liest und dennoch eigenartig schwermütig ist. Sie deutet viele Geheimnisse an, braucht aber fast die Hälfte des Romans, ehe sie die Dinge beginnt, aufzuklären. In Kombination mit Pädophilie (sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern) und dem der siamesischen Zwillinge bewegt sich die Autorin auf einem schmalen Grat, was die Bearbeitung der beiden Hauptthemen angeht. Nicht immer gut gelöst, aber die psychologische Komponente ist hier wohl auch nicht einfach zu handhaben. Leider wirkt die Geschichte dadurch an einigen Stellen auch sehr überladen. Weniger wäre manchmal wohl eindeutig mehr gewesen.

Die Autorin packt hier eine Menge unterschiedlicher Figuren in die Geschichte. Und fast alle haben auf die eine oder andere Art ein Problem miteinander. Das fand ich auf Dauer etwas anstrengend. Zumal der Roman auch einige heftige Themen als Hintergrund hat und die beiden Hauptfiguren da schon voll damit beschäftigt sind.

Hannah wirkt auf den ersten Blick wie eine gewöhnliche junge Frau. Doch der Schein trügt. Sie hat jede Menge Probleme und macht einigen Leuten in ihrer Umgebung dadurch Angst. Und als sie die Töchter von Sonny kennenlernt, ist es klar, dass Hannah auch vor ihm etwas verschweigt.

Ein solider Roman der gleich mehrere heftige Themen aufgreift. Für meinen Geschmack hätte das eine oder das andere gereicht. Aber beide zusammen? Andererseits hat Paige Toon feinfühlig über all die Probleme geschrieben, wenn auch oftmals sehr dunkel und schwermütig. Einfach selbst lesen und sich darüber ein eigenes Urteil bilden.

*This book was published in the English language by Simon & Schuster UK on August 6, 2020 

Paige Toon
Paige Toon ©Paige Toon

Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film, and women´s magazines, before ending up a reviews editor at Heat magazine. Paige is married, has two small children, and lives in Cambridge.


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