Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.
Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.
When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.
But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.
I received a copy of this book from HQ in return for an honest review.
Immersive, insightful and inquisitive are three adjectives that reading this novel conjures in the reader’s mind. It is an intriguing study of small-town/rural life from the viewpoint of five women. It explores disturbing contemporary issues, astutely exposing them to the reader. The narrators have an unreliable quality that makes it difficult to know who to believe and whose opinion to trust. It is addictive reading.
Believably flawed characters all have secrets, and there are relatable dynamics in the acquaintance, family and friendship groups. The writing has a lyrical quality, but the characters and situations are easily recognisable. Vivid settings and vibrant characters bring the story to life in an engaging way.
Sarah Stovell is a lecturer in creative writing at Lincoln University and a crime fiction author. She has published four novels, including the critically-acclaimed psychological thrillers Exquisite and The House. Her latest novel Other Parents, published in January 2022, will delve into small-town British life through a series of scandals.