When I began reading The Old You by Louise Voss, I presumed that what I had ahead of me was a few pleasant days immersed in a memoir-ish fictional account of a family dealing with the aftermath of a diagnosis of dementia.
In the opening chapter, Lynn Naismith and her husband Ed deal with the devastating news that Ed has Pick’s Disease, a form of dementia that he has inherited from his father. As his condition seems to quickly worsen, Ed soon muddling words, forgetting essential passwords and losing all sense of inhibition, Lynn commits herself to juggling her new job with Ed’s care, the man she previously adored disappearing before her eyes.
When Ed is offered the chance to take part in a clinical trial, Lynn is hopeful that the results will at least put a halt to her husband’s rapid deterioration.
But is all as it seems?
A few chapters into the book, Voss suddenly pulls her reader down a completely unexpected path, the gentle suburban reading trip I thought I was taking suddenly becoming a dark and sinister mystery tour akin to the plot of a Hitchcock film. Gone now is the domestic tale of coping with illness. In its place is a twisting psychological thriller in which no-one can be trusted. To say any more would be to spoil what is a highly original plot. Suffice to say that The Old You is a one-of-a-kind novel that will have you turning the pages to find out what is really going on.
The Old You is published by Orenda Books and is out now.