In a small town like West Burntridge, it should be impossible to keep a secret.
Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.
Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.
When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.
But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.
A Pure Joy to Read!
This is one of ‘those’ books; the kind you open and just keep reading . . .
West Burntridge is a mixed community of large posh homes and blocks of council flats but it does have a top ranking school. However, gossip is rife and everyone knows everyone else’s business. Rachel Saunders is a high achiever with three children – and has swapped her husband for a lesbian lover which makes her the hot gossip of the day. Laura Spence lives at the other end of town and is a struggling single parent; financially things are beyond hard and her son, Max, is more than a handful. His temper tantrums aren’t going unnoticed and Laura lives in fear of the do-gooders noticing her predicament. Then the school introduces a new inclusive policy and both these women find themselves on opposite sides . . .
This is a delicious read! Here is an author who is, without doubt, a keen observer of people. I was entranced from the very beginning and read long into the night, eager to find out where it was all heading. Both sides of each argument is clearly shown, along with subtle pointers as to the rights and wrongs. I actually learned quite a bit – if only legislators could define things quite as clearly! Beautifully written with wonderful characters, I adored the various true-to-life story lines and thought we could all learn a lot from this book. However, it isn’t so much educational as a pure joy to read. There is no way I could give this novel any less than all five glowing stars along with my highest recommendation!
My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: humour, women’s fiction
- Format: ebook, paperback, hardback, audiobook
- Size: 397 pages
- Publisher: HQ
- Publication Date: 20 January 2022
- Book Links:
Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University.
- Twitter: @sarahlovescrime