Rock Paper Scissors

“Can a weekend away save a marriage?”

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

It’s the question both her and her husband asked. Amelia knows this is the last chance to salvage what remains of her marriage. She couldn’t believe her luck when she won the work raffle for a weekend away at the remote Blackwater Chapel, an old church converted into a romantic getaway in the Scottish Highlands. Her screenplay “writeraholic” husband, Adam, resents the raffle that led them here and their marriage counselor who suggested the weekend might be exactly what they need. He has his doubts. Suffering from prosopagnosia, a cognitive disorder that results in face blindness, Adam can’t read the expression on his wife’s face but he gets the sense from his swirled and blurred perception that she too has doubts. His wife is a liar. But so is he.

“You heard me, rock paper scissors. If you win, we stay together forever.”

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

After battling mounting tension and a whiteout on the drive in to the isolated chapel, it doesn’t take long for them to realize something much darker is at play. Only one of them will be returning to their renovated Victorian home in the posh neighborhood of Hampstead Village in London. What is their marriage worth to her husband? It is their anniversary after all.

This was another book I put on hold at the library months ago without reading the synopsis. I recently read Alice Feeney’s His & Hers, her writing style is enjoyable with unexpected plot twists, so I was excited to see the release date for Rock Paper Scissors was in September. A potentially perfect fall read and as fate would have it, the scheduled release was the week of my wedding anniversary. I was hooked pretty quickly, instantly intrigued by the idea of a renovated chapel turned bed and breakfast – finding and converting a church to live in has been a (mostly one sided) conversation with my husband for months, I look for churches on on a weekly basis. A girl can dream. While the suspense and dark mystery in Rock Paper Scissors was addicting and did not disappoint, I would recommend this book for the intimate, honest look at different relationships and the hardships they endure. Alice Feeney captivates the complexities of marriage and family, as well as the loneliness of infertility, in a way that makes me want to cuddle up and read the book all over again. If it isn’t obvious already, I rated the thriller five stars on Goodreads and StoryGraph. If you happen to have the opportunity to read this book, do not pass it up.

“I wish people were more like books. If you realize halfway through a novel that you aren’t enjoying it anymore, you can just stop and find something new to read. Same with films and TV dramas. There is no judgement, no guilt, nobody even needs to know unless you choose to tell them. But with people, you tend to have to see it through to the end, and sadly not everyone gets to live happily ever after.”

— Adam, Rock Paper Scissors

Sometimes I “mood read”. When there’s no background noise or too much of it and the book is really good, I will search Spotify for nature sounds that coincide with the setting in the storyline. It helps me focus on the details and feels like you are hearing what the characters are. Playlists for storms, rain and the ocean are my most played.

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