Reviewed by Sarah Brew
Beth is a woman in supreme control of all aspects of her life and family, with a stellar career and her house an oasis of calm. Her closest friend, Megan, is very different; somehow she swims through the chaos of her family with ease, the clutter on the stairs, the cat footprints on the kitchen work space. And while they could not be more different, Beth and Megan have a genuine friendship built on years of laugher, tears and true understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses. Because that's what friends do, isn't it?
But when Beth's daughter reveals a surprising secret, a wedge is driven between Beth and Megan. What begins as mild recrimination and misunderstanding develops into a full-blown row and then a simmering feud. As the two women square up to do battle in the London suburbs, there's everything to play for. All's fair in love and war...
The best friendship are often those of opposites, but when things go wrong, they can do so in spectacular style. Beth and Megan have been friends for many years despite their different characters. Beth is totally in control of all aspects of her life; Megan lurches from one piece of chaos to the next. The friendship extends beyond the two women – the families are close-knit and their children have grown up together – and therein lies the problem.
Rarely, however, are we absolutely 100% honest with our friends and Beth’s daughter reveals a secret to Megan, who she sees as a second ‘mum’. This gradually builds a barrier between the friends – and when the families try to help out, things just get worse. As the rift deepens, you are gripped by the story, wondering whether there is any way back from the precipice. The story is related from the viewpoints of both women and this allows the reader to get deep into their feelings. Both women elicit the reader’s sympathy for the way things turn out, but I felt more drawn to Megan.
Fanny Blake’s characters are well depicted and she gives us an intriguing insight into the world of female friendships and their ups and downs, all tempered with a dose of humour. It may well leave you reflecting on your own friendships and on family relationships and being there for your own children, so realistic are the people and events. Perfect for the more mature woman. The story is well constructed and flows smoothly, with no irritating loose ends. You won’t regret reading this!
I'd like to thank Lucy at Orion for sending a copy of this book to Sarah to review and thank you Sarah for this fab review.