What’s it about?
It’s summer when Elm Hill lido opens, having stood empty for years. For Natalie Steele – wife, mother, teacher – it offers freedom from the tightly controlled routines of work and family. Especially when it leads her to Lara Channing, a charismatic former actress with a lavish bohemian lifestyle, who seems all too happy to invite Natalie into her elite circle.
Soon Natalie is spending long days at the pool, socializing with new friends and basking in a popularity she didn’t know she’d been missing. Real life, and the person she used to be, begins to feel very far away.
But is such a change in fortunes too good to be true? Why are dark memories of a summer long ago now threatening to surface? And, without realizing, could Natalie have been swept dangerously out of her depth?
I just happened to catch Twitter at the right time when the publicist for this book was offering a limited number so I was really pleased to get one. I’d only read one other Louise Candlish novel before, The Disappearance of Emily Marr, which I really enjoyed so it surprises me that I’ve not read more because she’s such a good writer.
The prologue will have you hooked and then throughout there’s a sense of foreboding that something terrible will happen and as a reader, you’re watching it unfold in slow motion. This makes for compelling reading even though not a lot seems to be happening. It’s like reading an account of someone’s day, every day. However, Louise’s way of drip feeding events and information just makes it captivating reading that still manages to keep you turning those pages.
Natalie is over-whelmed by Lara’s interest in her, and her glamourous lifestyle…that grass is always greener feeling of envy. We all quite possibly know someone that we think we’d like to trade places with because from the outside their life is far more appealing. I volunteer in a charity shop on a Sunday afternoon and quite regularly a woman comes in her with her daughters, I would estimate she’s around my age (early 40s) with 2 daughters around late teens and one about 10, she’s very attractive and just oozes money. She has these gorgeous natural corkscrew curls that I would die for (not literally but you know). I look at her and think yeah, she’s got it all and I imagine this is how Natalie felt about Lara and I can totally relate how she got swept along with it all, to the point of alienating her husband and her friends.
A tale of obsession, guilt, and what happens when your past catches up with you. I love Louise Candlish’s writing in this novel, so atmospheric…just like the cover!
Many thanks to Francesca at Penguin for the ARC…..And you can get your hands on a hardback copy (proof) too as I received an extra from the publisher. I’m afraid it’s UK only as I’m paying for the postage myself. The giveaway will run until Monday 30th May so get your entries in now 🙂
**Enter the giveaway via the link below**
Connect with the author Louise Candlish