Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 9th July 2020
I have to hold my hands up and be very honest (as I always am). I had never read any Sabine Durrant books before I was offered this book.
I of course knew of her and had only heard great things and the premise of this book completely drew me in particularly the line ‘Like the ivy that creeps through the shared garden fence, their lives are all entwined now. And the knots can only get tighter….’
That was all I needed!
When this book arrived I had every intention of setting it to one side for at least a few days whilst I finished off a couple of other books I had on the go. However, I started to run a bath and thought to myself that I’d just read a page or two to get a feel for the writing style etc. Well…….a couple of hours and one bath later I was still reading.
Verity Baxter has lived in the same house in Trinity Fields for pretty much her whole life. It’s the house she grew up in with her sister Faith and the house she spent most of her adult life caring for her sick mother. Now her mother is dead and her sister is gone and it’s just Verity and her dog Maudie.
That is until a the Tilson family move in next door.
Ailsa, her husband Tom and their three children Melissa and twins Bea and Max have recently moved to Trinity Fields from Kent. They’ve gutted the house and given it a completely modernised renovation. Verity does a little research on the family before they move in, interested to find out who her new neighbours are. When they do arrive, there is an altercation between Tom and Verity over the state of Verity’s garden, but Ailsa acts as a buffer between them both and the two women develop a friendship.
Verity starts tutoring the Tilson’s teenage son Max, as she is a lexicographer and this is when she finds herself spending more and more time with the family. She is fascinated by their family dynamic but also witnesses some cruel displays from Tom and the way he treats both Aisla and the children. Ultimately she wants to feel useful and wanted by the family and feels the need to hang on to her tentative place within their family dynamic.
The two women continue to bond in an odd way. Both of them needing the investment in the friendship for their own reasons but both having secrets they would prefer were kept hidden.
But what effect will these secrets have on these two women and their lives and when tragedy strikes, who needs who more?
I cannot give anything else away plot wise! This book really does need to be read. I finished it in one sitting which took me until 1am on a school night no less! It was so worth the tiredness!
The main draw for me was the intriguing relationship between these two women and the juxtaposed nature of their lives. Ailsa with her family and husband and lovely modern minimalist home, Verity all alone in her house which is frozen in time and quite literally stuffed full of memories.
This is a slow burner of a story with ever increasing tension. Tension which doesn’t exactly ratchet up but rather simmers underneath the surface ready to boil over.
Sabine Durrant writes a taught thriller which is sharp and utterly, utterly compelling. Reading Finders, Keepers has made me so excited to explore Sabine’s back catalogue of books. I’ve been recommended a few since shouting about how much I loved this one. And I did love it!
Thank you to Jenny Platt and Hodder for my review copy and for having me along on the blog tour.
Check out what everyone else thinks on the rest of the tour dates:
See you all soon.
Amanda – Bookish Chat xx