Thursday, 14 June 2012

Books Read: Louise Millar - The Playdate

Source - Received from publisher to review

Sound designer Callie Roberts is a single mother.  And she's come to rely heavily on her best friend and neighbour, Suzy.  Over the last few lonely years, Suzy has been good to Callie and her rather frail daughter, Rae, and she's welcomed them into her large, apparently happy family.

But Callie knows that Suzy's life is not quite as perfect as it seems.   It's time she pulled away - and she needs to get back to work.  So why does she keep putting off telling Suzy?  And who will care for Rae?  In the anonymous city street, the houses each hide a very different family, each with their own secrets.  Callie's increased sense of alienation leads her to try and befriend a new resident, Debs.  But she's odd - you certainly wouldn't trust her with your child - especially if you knew anything about her past.

I'd liked the sound of this book ever since I first noticed it in the future releases section on Amazon so I was extremely grateful to be sent a copy of this book to review by Pan Macmillan.

The Playdate tells the story of friends and neighbours, Callie and Suzy, whose children Rae and Henry are in the same class at school.  But this is where the similarities end between them as Suzy is married to Jez and also has twin sons, Peter and Otto, whereas Callie is a single parent following her split from ex Tom.

Throughout the book we see that Callie is overly protective of daughter Rae and it's eventually identified that this is because she was born with a heart condition which makes her extremely susceptible to illnesses and makes her weak.  But is Callie stifling her daughter and preventing her from having a normal childhood?

Suzy's picture-perfect life is not exactly as it seems and she's desperate to have another child, a daughter, who she thinks will make everything OK in her marriage and her life.  However husband Jez is definitely not on the same page...

Meanwhile Suzy's new next-door neighbour Debs seems a strange women and it's clear that something bad has happened in her life previously.  The move to the new house was meant to be a fresh start for her but she thinks she's being targeted again.   

When daughter Rae has an accident Callie soon finds that she is stuck in the middle between Suzy and Debs, with each of them telling her different versions of the event, but which of them is telling her the truth and who can she trust?  

The story is told from the viewpoint of the three women so we are able to find out their secrets, how they're feeling and what exactly they are hiding from each other.  The story flowed well and I soon found that one more chapter led to another to another... 

I really enjoyed this debut novel from Louise Millar and will certainly be keeping an eye out for future releases from her.  If this sounds like the type of book you'd like to read, why not head to Amazon where you can buy a copy in paperback or e-book format.

2 comments:

  1. I have this on my shelf to read. Looks a fab read. Thanks for the review Shaz. :-)

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  2. I've just read and enjoyed this too.

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