Published by Hodder & Stoughton on April 5, 2018
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Drinks in hand, a group of neighbourhood women gather around a fire pit to enjoy a rare child-less Saturday night. Giddy with freedom, they drink too much, share secrets they wish, perhaps, they hadn't, and enjoy getting to know each other better.
The single newcomer. The imperfect mom. The new-born parents. The military wife. The almost divorcee.
Come Monday morning, one of them is gone.
As a police investigation launches, the women will band together and ask whether they should have noticed that something was amiss. But how well can you really know your neighbours, when appearances can be so deceiving?
rAs long as you believe that what you see is what you get, I get to stay this way. Poised. Devoted. Alive.
Welcome to my book review on the blog tour for Not that I could tell by Jessica Strawser!!
This is a story of a woman who disappears one Monday morning, following a Saturday night drinking around the fire pit with the girls. The story is not about Kristin, the perfect mother, friend and neighbour but Clara and Izzy. How they are affected by her disappearance. How no one seems to remember much about Saturday night, I mean did they really drink that much?
The story unfolds through their eyes. Clara, the best friend, mum of two and Izzy, the new single neighbour who has a soft spot for the soon-to-be ex-husband Paul.
It is also a great sales pitch for Yellow Springs. I mean who wouldn’t want to live in a nice idyllic neighbourhood despite what happens behind closed doors.
There were a lot of questions going through my mind reading the opening chapters. Is Kristin dead? Will this be like Gone girl? What happened in Cincinnati? What happened to Kristin first husband? Did she actually run?
You really do have to pay attention to every word that the author writes. Sentences that are in the book which could be considered as throwaway comments actually do mean something. One that springs to mind (without giving any spoilers away!) was Clara picking a letter up from the post box, an everyday chore but this time, being noted by the author so blasé had to mean something more and I was proven right!!
You have Hallie, the teenage girl, who in my eyes, was me, the reader. She was her own detective and she wanted to get to the truth and wasn’t afraid of finding out what was going on, no matter what the cost was. She is a spirited teenage girl and I would love for my little girl to grow up to be like her!
The two main women in the story are extremely relatable, they could be your friend, your neighbour or even you!
Clara, who is visibly shaken by her friend who goes missing, is a mum of two. She worries about the children and the impact that this has on her children’s life. It brings back the memories of the events that happened in Cincinnati. She starts to re-evaluate how well do you really know someone. She finds herself trying to ‘mother’ Izzy and protect her Paul. Come on let us be honest who would not want a husband like Benny is just damn near perfect and the voice of much-needed reason for Clara, as sometimes her thoughts run away from the truth.
Clara made me reevaluate how well do we know people when she was doing it. Kristin lived a life where she was a friend to everyone, always helped with bake sales, friends, but was it all an act? Do we really know anyone? Can you trust what you know about people? Like an unreliable narrator, you know what they wish to know, there are secrets. In this story, it was exactly that Kirstin allowed her “friends” and neighbours only know what she wanted them to know, keeping the real “Kristin” hidden. To them, she was the Perfect mother, neighbour and friend.
Izzy’s story is one I relate to, definitely when I was growing up. Watching the guy you wanted to be with, being in a relationship with someone who was close to you and trying to deal with the hurt, the guilt and the want for them. (I am married now got the guy in the end!) It was heartbreaking as she missed her moment with the guy. You feel her guilt as she pushes away her loved ones as she tries to learn to accept her new life without him.
We focus on these relationships with each other and outside the circle. One relationship we review is that of Paul, the estranged husband. Clara watches him and writes him off immediately, she suspects something has happened and she believes he is no good and does not trust him full stop. Izzy however, views it a different way, why should they look at the husband first. He seems nice enough…right?!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: