My last post for today is a review on the blog tour of Someone Else’s Daughter by Jennifer Harvey, a slow burn of a thriller/family drama with plenty of dark secrets and some shocking twists…..
They’d left their daughter with us, their only child, and we hadn’t protected her. That was all they would see when they looked at us—that we had failed them.
I count down the days until we can leave the city behind and return to the beach house. Where James and Katie can roam free over the dunes, like they did as children, and Peter will swap his 6 a.m. starts for the stacks of fluffy pancakes he lovingly serves up for our family breakfasts. These sun-drenched, golden days, just the four of us, are what I hold on to all year long.
But this summer Katie’s best friend will be coming with us. I tell myself the girls will have fun together, pushing aside the doubts I have about this uninvited guest. Isa. With her corn-silk hair and luminous skin, who manages to overshadow my daughter at every turn. Who has been dumped on us by her own parents, too caught up in their petty dramas to see what is right in front of them.
Because I can see it. There is something dangerous about Isa. Something more than a carefree girl, testing boundaries as she approaches adulthood. She threatens to cast storm clouds across my beach house days. I feel as powerless to stop her as I would in the face of a hurricane.
By the end of the summer, Isa will be dead. And I will have to face her mother. I don’t know if I will be able to find the words. How can I begin to explain that she never really knew her daughter at all?
A gripping story of the darkness than lurks beneath the surface of the most picture-perfect lives and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love. Fans of Big Little Lies, Kerry Fisher and Diane Chamberlain will be held totally in thrall by this emotional, twisty read.
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When Isa’s parents ask Louise if she can go on summer vacation with them whilst they try to save their marriage with a second honeymoon, Louise isn’t sure but agrees anyway. But what she doesn’t know is what’s really been going on with Isa. Katie, Louise’s daughter and Isa’s best friend, is over the moon to have her come with them but also tense as they’ve recently had a falling out. She’s hoping the Summer will heal their friendship…..
But the Summer ends in disaster ~ Isa is dead. And Louise and her family have to face up to the Egbert’s and the consequences of being responsible for a wayward teen who loses her life. Is Katie the only one who really knows what was going on with Isa? Could she have done more to help her? And what dark secrets are being hidden?
The story is narrated between Louise and Katie and we begin by finding out what happens at the end of the Summer, followed by the build up to it and ending with a surprising twist. Katie knows so much about Isa and sometimes battles with what she should do, and maybe doesn’t always make the best decisions. Louise on the other hand doesn’t know what she’s let herself in for – and what unravels is far more than she ever expected.
This is a compelling story that keeps you turning the pages to see what other dark secrets are going to materialise. However, it was quite slow going at points, although speeds up towards the end as it sucks you in to the conclusion. But the pace of the book does allow you to really get to know what’s going on behind each of the main characters and the secrets that they hide.
I have to say in terms of the characters, I didn’t really like any of them much! Isa comes across as a scheming, selfish girl who loves herself and doesn’t really think about anyone else; her Mum and Dad are also selfish and what they do to the Lindeman’s is unbelievable! Louise is hypocritical, and Katie ~ although trying to be a good friend, makes some bad decisions. I’m not sure why they were even friends as they are so different – I definitely couldn’t put up with either of them as my friend! The only person I did quite like was James, Katie’s little brother. I do think that this was the authors intention though, as you never really know who to trust and who has something else to hide!
This is Harvey’s debut novel and it certainly shows a lot of promise. Full of dark secrets, lies, family issues and betrayal, you will want to keep reading. There were parts that I predicted but equally bits that I had no clue about! I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading the next book from Jennifer.
about the author
Jennifer Harvey is a Scottish writer now living in The Netherlands.
She is the author of three novels.
Someone Else’s Daughter will be published on June 18th 2020 with Bookouture.
Two more titles will follow in October 2020 and May 2021.
Her short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines in the US and the UK, such as Bare Fiction, Litro Online, Carve Magazine, Folio, and The Lonely Crowd.
She has been shortlisted for various short story prizes including the Bristol Prize, the University of Sunderland Short Story Award and the Bridport Prize. Her radio dramas have won prizes and commendations from the BBC World Service. She has been longlisted twice for the Bath Novel Award.
tour hosted by
Thank you to the author, Bookouture and NetGalley for a copy of the book in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
Well I’m off now to enjoy the sunshine, do some gardening and reading! Enjoy your day lovelies.