Beyond the Tree House, Gudrun Frerichs
The second book in the Women of Our Time series, and follow up to the outstanding GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE, BEYOND THE TREE HOUSE again features Elizabeth and a number of her multiple personalities. Elizabeth has DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and for more on how she survives with that condition it would be well worth reading the first book.
The first book was outstanding - at the time that I read it I was absolutely gobsmacked at just how good it was - informative, thoughtful, sensitive, it showed the complications of a life lived, and the resilience of this woman.
Unfortunately, BEYOND THE TREE HOUSE didn't work quite as well. Perhaps it was because the plot here felt more contrived, less "organic" for want of a better word. The "Tribe" (as Elizabeth refers to the personalities) seemed to be choppier, less convincing, less natural than the earlier novel, and despite the ramped up threat to Elizabeth and the man she loves, there was less of an emotional connection with the outcome.
It's still an interesting, actually fascinating idea, the use of a thriller environment to demonstrate the intricacies of DID, and maybe with a bit more work it will lift, because there are bones here, that don't quite hold it up to the expectations set in the first in the series (which I'd still highly recommend people read).
Flames crackle and stability just went up in smoke.
When Elizabeth’s happy new life goes up in flames and mortal danger is knocking down her door once again, she struggles to stay sane. Only when she falls into the trap her aunt’s killer has set for her does she realize the danger she’s in. Can she calm the turmoil within and rally the strength of her tribe to fight back, or is it too late?
BEYOND THE TREE HOUSE is book #2 in the psychological thrillers’ series set in current-day New Zealand. It concludes Elizabeth’s story as she, a forty-two-year-old woman with multiple personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID), fights for survival. Four core personalities tell the story from the inside out, giving an insight into the workings of the dissociated mind.