I once again found myself doing the weekly shop last weekend, and as usual, I couldn't keep myself away from the book aisle. I had to have a little look to see what was out that week, and it was this book by author Louise Candlish which first caught my attention. I picked it up and had a read of the back and decided I definitely wanted to read it, so when I got home, I went online and reserved it at my local library. I picked it up the other day, and had a good read over the past few days.
Kate Easton is divorced, and lives with her 2 children, 17 year old Roxy and 9 year old Matthew. They are struggling financially so decide to split their house up and have a tenant. Davis Calder decides to move in, and he and Kate strike up a friendship which soon becomes something more. But Kate is about to unleash a secret set to devastate the whole family, and rock it to its core. Can relationships survive the fall out, and will Kate ever get over the betrayal?
I thought the premise of the book sounded good, but judging by the tag line on the cover of the book, and the blurb on the back, I realised after I started reading it that I had probably guessed the twist that was going to appear in the book. When I realised this, I was actually pretty annoyed because this sort of thing shouldn't be spoilt, let alone on the front cover of the book. I think its a bad decision to have used the tag line they did as it is definitely too obvious (and I have asked a few people about this who have agreed), so for this I have had to take stars off the book rating overall.
Story-wise, this is the first Louise Candlish novel I had read, although I do have another of her books on my shelf, I just haven't gotten round to reading it yet. I found her writing very enjoyable, and the first half of the book was very enjoyable, covering all the background that sets up the story well. Maybe the background was a bit too long, she could have got to her destination much faster but I actually enjoyed the read. It was the second half to do with the secret I had more of a problem with. As I had guessed the secret, there was no shocking moment, and the rest felt like a bit of an anti-climax and I think Candlish could have done a lot more with these characters and the situation.
The characters themselves were well written and I did find myself thinking all the right emotions towards them. Kate, the main character, was a very nice woman and you could warm to her and sympathise with her situation and dislike of men due to her ex-husband. Alistair, her ex, was a slimy creature although towards the end of the book I did find myself liking him a bit more. Davis was completely suspicious, I didn't like him at all and you could tell something was a biit funny there. And finally, Roxy and Matt her children were typical child charcters, well written and did their job in the story well enough.
To be honest, although I had guessed the story, I was quite cross at Kate for not guessing it! There were really obvious hints being dropped throughout, and some of them were so blindingly obvious, it was quite daft she didn't suspect something. I don't know why Candlish chose to do it this way, because I found her non-suspicion a tad implausible and it did impair my enjoyment of the novel because of it. I feel that what could have been a good excitable plot turned into a bit of a farce. Key plots twists are revealed on the cover, the main character doesn't get anything until its front of her face, and it seemed to take a bit long to get where it was going, with the end half of the book really a bit rushed.
Don't get me wrong, this is a good enough read, because Candlish has a nice easy to read writing style, but I just feel there are too many factors which annoyed me to give this book a high star rating. I am so disappointed that the publishers chose to put the tag line they did on the cover, and consequently the novel didn't have the shock factor that I believe was intended. Good characters make up a bit for this, but not enough to save the story completely. A real shame, but still a good read if you have the time.
ISBN: 9780751539882. Published by Sphere in July 2008. The paperback contains 368 pages and is available on Amazon for £3.99 (RRP is £6.99). For more information on the author and her other books, see her website at http://www.louisecandlish.co.uk/.
Thank you for reading.