In three words:
Secrets, friendships, betrayal
What I thought:
This is my first of a book by Adele Parks and I can now safely say that it won’t be my last. It’s like chicklit for grown-ups, i.e. it’s moved past the shopping for handbags and giggling at the water-cooler and on to school-runs, clandestine meetings in the theatre and sustaining life-long friendships.
Pip and Steph have been friends since school and are still in each others lives. Pip is the gregarious one, the one who lives in constant chaos but is great fun to be around and Steph is the steady, dependable, sensible one; the one who never sets a foot out of line – that is until she does and asks Pip to cover for her (which means lying to the police about where she was). As well as Pip and Steph, the cast of brilliantly drawn characters include Kirsten, a gorgeous, glamorous young girl who has no choice but to work in a London firm as Daddy has stopped dishing out the dosh (but don’t feel too sorry for her, she sleeps with half the Directors of the business – well one of them is bound to fall in love with her, leave their wife and keep her in the life of luxury she so deperately wants, right?). I don’t want to give too much away about Kirsten or what her role in the book is, as it’s always more fun to find out for yourself. However, it’s suffice to say that I found Kirsten so hideous and shallow a person that I am really struggling to believe that there are people out there like her – there must be, but I never want to meet them. All credit to Parks for making her more human and me feel sorry for her by the end though (grrr!)
What I liked about this book, aside from the character development, was the fact that I was kept guessing about what had happened and what was about to happen enough to keep me interested and turning the pages. There’s moral dilemmas, betrayal and you will undoubtably question yourself as to what you would do in this situation. Park has done a wonderful job in showing us her characters rather than just telling us about them, and it is easy to feel the tension and dilemmas as they do.
Verdict: Bags of personality, a fun read without being frothy. Recommended.
(source: this copy was sent to me for review from Headline Review)