Review: The Day She Died by S.M. Freedman

Title: The Day She Died by S.M. Freedman
Publisher: Dundurn
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 328 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


After a traumatic head injury, Eve questions every memory and motive in this mind-bending psychological thriller.

Eve Gold’s birthdays are killers, and her twenty-seventh birthday proves to be no different. But for the up-and-coming Vancouver artist, facing death isn’t the real shock ― it’s what comes after.

Recovering from a near-fatal accident, Eve is determined to return to the life she’s always wanted: a successful artistic career, marriage to the man who once broke her heart, and another chance at motherhood. But brain damage leaves her forgetful, confused, and tortured by repressed memories of a deeply troubled childhood, where her innocence was stolen one lie ― and one suspicious death ― at a time.

As the dark, twisted pages unfold, Eve must choose between clinging to the lies that helped her survive her childhood and unearthing the secrets she buried long ago.


The Day She Died by S.M. Freedman is an intriguing novel with a unique premise.

Eve Gold is struck by car and suffers a traumatic brain injury. After several months of recovery, she continues to suffer the aftereffects. Eve must cope with memory loss and losing time throughout the day. She is also an artist and her paintings take a dark turn in the aftermath of her accident. Eve reconnects with a childhood friend’s brother and he is more than willing to assist her during her recovery as is Eve’s beloved grandmother.

A sense of unease underlies Eve’s life in the present and this appears to stem from her childhood. She and her mother, Donna, live with Eve’s grandmother who happily takes care of  her granddaughter. Donna puts all of her energy into her career as a lawyer and she is indifferent to the point of neglect in regards to her daughter. Since her mother makes no attempt to hide her antipathy toward her, Eve is close to her grandmother. And after making friends with Sara, the two children are thick as thieves as they run in and out of each other’s homes explore the outdoors.

The Day She Died is an engrossing mystery that weaves back and forth in time between events in the present and Eve’s childhood. The characters are well-drawn with distinct personalities. Eve’s narration offers an up-close perspective of her brain injury and her lack of clear memories in the past or present. With a bit of a mystery hanging over Eve and events in her life, S.M. Freedman brings this clever novel to a twist-filled conclusion that answers most of these questions.

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