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What is the terrible secret?
Out of My Depth - Emily Barr
Member Name: leanne8686
Out of My Depth - Emily Barr
"Sleep-sabotagingly moreish" Nicely put I'd say!
This is another dabble of mine into the unknown, unknown author that is. I had never read a book by Emily Barr when I spotted this reduced to £2 in Morrisons last week.
I know we aren't meant to 'judge a book by its cover' but I can't help it, this cover is nicely designed and it looks like it should be a good book!
The story starts with Susie, a successful artist living in the French countryside with her perfect boyfriend. She decides off the top of her head to have a reunion weekend at her house with her three best friends from school; Amanda, Izzy and Tamsin. More than anything she wants to show off, she was the fat one who was unpopular with the boys, now she has a killer bod, live-in boyfriend and this gorgeous house!
She is looking forward to seeing Amanda and Izzy but only invited Tamsin to be polite; she lives in Australia now so obviously can't come to France just for the weekend! We don't know why Susie doesn't want to see Tamsin but all will be revealed (not in this review!)
We are taken to Amandas house in London next, she has all the money she could need but having been anorexic at school her eating disorder has gone the other way and she binge eats constantly, she is huge and on top of that an alcoholic.
It doesn't focus on Izzy or Tamsins stories separately like it does Susie and Amanda because as you will find out later in the book these two are central to the main plot.
The first time we meet Izzy and Tamsin is at the airport, all three of them are flying from Stansted and although they've changed, they recognise each other....just.
We are then taken back in time to the late 80's, early 90's; the girls time at Lodwell High School and Sixth Form. We can see from the flashbacks that things were very different then, Susie being the overweight one, Amanda being skinny, Tamsin the gawky teachers daughter and Izzy the girl everyone worshipped.
So what dark secret will come out? Does Susie want to get everyone together to confess?
You will find yourself unable to put this book down; the story is unpredictable and exciting.
It makes a change from the usual summer reads, there's more substance and grit to this one yet it's still set in the idyllic French countryside which makes a lovely backdrop as the drama unfolds.....
The story flips between the present day and their time at school with every chapter, don't worry though you won't get confused as each chapter from the past is titled 'Lodwells (and the year)' It's easy to follow but not too easy, I like to be challenged as I read and really have to pay attention, that way I feel I am totally immersed in the book and can turn off the outside world for a while and Emily Barr definitely achieves that with 'Out of my depth'.
Barr develops each character well though does focus somewhat on Susie and Amanda. Izzy is probably the most likeable of the gang as she dotes on her little boy and has given up everything for him. She also didn't play a main part in the 'secret' but still kept it for her best friends.
Amanda is a character I loathe, she seems to be at the centre of the trouble and driving your children to school drunk is as low as you can get! She doesn't show her husband any affection either.
Amanda's husband is quite likeable too; he doesn't take centre stage but is still involved albeit at arms length.
Tamsin is cold and detatched from the others which at first seems miserable but later turns out understandable.
Susie is a nice enough woman but she tries too hard to please everyone and I don't like that she is showing off to her old friends and trying to prove she'd better than them, she has her own secrets though.....
I like a book that keeps me turning the pages and this definitely does that, you don't know what will happen next and nobody can predict the ending.
I will definitely be on the look out for more of Emily Barrs books.
Summary: A fantastic read