#bookreview #TheMove by Felicity Everett @ittymay Published in paperback Nov 26th by @HQstories #netgalley

Happy Publication Day to Felicity Everett for the paperback of her new book The Move. Thanks go to the publisher HQ Stories for my advanced copy via Netgalley.

SYNOPSIS

New house. Fresh start. Same husband.

Can you paint over the cracks in a marriage?

‘Felicity has the reader gripped when she explores unhealthy relationships based on insecurity and delusion. She writes with a raw realism’ Adele Parks, Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author, in Platinum

Karen has packed up her life and is making The Move. She’s on her way to the idyllic country cottage which her husband has painstakingly renovated for her. They’re escaping the London bustle and the daily grind. And they’re escaping their past.

A fresh start in a beautiful, peaceful village. It will be different here, right?

But something is awry. The landscape, breathtaking by day, is eerie by night. The longed-for peace and solitude is stifling. And the house, so artfully put together by her husband, has a strange vibe. Now that Karen is cut off from her old friends and family, she can’t help wondering if her husband has plans of his own, and that history might be repeating itself.

MY THOUGHTS

Not so much of a psychological thriller but more of a slower paced, psychological family drama, with vivid and suspenseful writing dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event in a couples marriage.

As with the author’s previous book, The People At No. 9, which I enjoyed very much, she writes again of wonderfully thought out characters that have that slightly untrustworthy and suspicious nature about them. Are they really what they appear to be? Are they telling the truth or do we have an unreliable narrator? Coupled with the seemingly remote aspect of their new village life, all in all, made for a claustrophobic and suspenseful read.

Karen, her husband Nick and their older teenage son Ethan, have moved out of London to an idyllic sounding country cottage. Something immediately feels slightly off though, as Karen’s husband appears to have done all the renovations and plans by himself, with Karen seemingly seeing the place for the first time as she arrives to move in.

There is a definite undercurrent as the author slowly introduces you to the main characters in the story. Karen seems to struggle with paranoia and nerves, Nick has a obvious flirtatious natures which he doesn’t seem to even try to hide and there appears to be a strained relationship with the son. Clearly something has happened to them all as a family but has it all been left behind back in London?

A novel that isn’t one with a big plot but a wonderfully intense observation on a couple trying to paint over the cracks in their marriage, with other side stories as Karen meets her new neighbours and tries to integrate herself in village life. Invites to charity auctions, making new friends and a suspicious man squatting in a nearby barn, all add to the slightly sinister edge of the novel, but all relating back to Karen and her feelings towards her husband. A surprising ending but one that suits the book marvellously.

An absorbing read!

#bookreview LOVE by Roddy Doyle

SYNOPSIS

One summer’s evening, two men meet up in a Dublin restaurant.

Old friends, now married and with grown-up children, their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he has to tell Davy, and Davy, a grief he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be.

Neither Davy nor Joe know what the night has in store, but as two pints turns to three, then five, and the men set out to revisit the haunts of their youth, the ghosts of Dublin entwine around them. Their first buoyant forays into adulthood, the pubs, the parties, broken hearts and bungled affairs, as well as the memories of what eventually drove them apart.

As the two friends try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, Love offers up a delightfully comic, yet moving portrait of the many forms love can take throughout our lives.

MY THOUGHTS

Roddy Doyle’s Love is about just that. The word in the title.

Davy is back in Dublin having moved to London when he married. He and Joe, a friend from his youth, meet up as they’ve clearly done through the years. Time has estranged them; they have a superficial understanding of each others lives and now find themselves approaching sixty with grown families. It seems they meet up out of politeness, the friendship apparently running on empty, Davy suggests this will be the last time he’ll come to back to Dublin, to meet Joe. This time though, as the story emerges, they both have secrets they’ll share. It all starts when they agree to have “one more” which leads them on an odyssey through their youth.

The book is written in Doyle’s usual style, it’s almost entirely dialogue between the two men with Davy filling in some details as the narrator, offering some context of their relationship as they move from dinner to a crawl through Dublin’s pubs. It moves along at a fair pace and twists and turns.

There are regular humour and laughs, and plenty of the local vernacular, but this is a serious story of how men become friends and why those friendships endure, it deals with the often different viewpoints two people can have of the same memory and the difference in perception of where power lies in all relationships.

The dialogue is authentic and conforms to the adage that men struggle to talk about their feelings, Joe spends most of the book trying to explain why he’s left his wife, the cause coming from the glory days of Davy and Joe’s almost forgotten youth, while frustrating Davy with his inaccurate and often confused words and half-hearted justifications.

The story winds along as they move from pub to pub, the two drifting together and apart, but never far apart to call it a night. We spend most of the book exploring Joe’s story but it’s when Davy’s reasons for being in Dublin come out that the bonds formed so long ago, around special places and special people, that the book finally settles on the meaning of the word in the title.

Another good read from this best selling author.

Thank you to the publisher for my advanced copy via Netgalley. Love was released October 15th 2020.