Tim Ellison is having a bit of a hard time financially while working at his family’s restaurant. Not being able to afford a decent apartment, he decides to crash at his ex-girlfriend’s place for the time being. That poses all kinds of problems with his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend. Finally being pushed by her to leave, Tim sees an ad for a roommate in Fairlight. When he arrives at the location to take a look at the place, he’s completely surprised at how big the property and house are, but immediately feels that it’s an ominous and oppressive place just the same. He meets the owner, Anna London, who happens to be a very young, sickly twenty-year-old. They get along well enough that she offers him to stay with her. He accepts considering just how cheap the rent is for the amount of room this place will offer him. Once he moves in though, very strange things start occurring. What starts occurring while he’s there? Does he find out why this stuff is happening in the first place?
I have to be really honest and say that this was just an okay story for me. There was something about the characters that made me feel more irritated with them instead of liking them as I had hoped to do when I started reading this book. I found Tim so immature that he made me want to shake some sense into him and Anna was just too cold and strange to make me want to get to know her. I know that Ms. James has been receiving some really great reviews for this story and because of these wonderful reviews, it’s obvious to me this book just didn’t fit what I was personally looking for at this time.
From the internationally bestselling author of Beautiful Malice comes a captivating novel of psychological suspense about love and friendship, loyalty and betrayal—perfect for readers of S. J. Watson and Lisa Unger.
Tim Ellison feels lucky when he finds a cheap place to rent in his dream location, close to the restaurant where he works as a chef, and even closer to his favorite surf spot at Sydney’s popular Manly Beach. But the cavernous house is infused with a sense of foreboding, and his furnished room there comes with a condition: He must look after the mansion’s mysterious owner.
Anna London is withdrawn and frail, a twenty-year-old with the inexplicable demeanor and habits of an elderly woman. From her grand home on the hill, she can see the city and the ocean, but she can never leave. Her anxieties keep her locked inside, unable to face the outside world.
As Tim settles in, he struggles to get to know the person who depends on him for food and care. Slowly, Anna reveals glimpses of herself—her history, her sadness, her crippling fears. And then strange things begin to happen: loud banging in the night, unexplained figures in the shadows, sinister messages on the walls. Tim is startled to find that even as his unease about the house grows, he is increasingly attracted to its hauntingly beautiful owner. But is Anna London someone to pity, someone to love, or someone to fear?
Taut and intense, Sweet Damage is an addictive novel about vulnerability, obsession, and duplicity, with a modern Gothic twist.