I’m pleased to share my review for the new book by Sarah Vaughan – thank you to Simon and Schuster UK for a digital review copy via NetGalley. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the free digital proof copy.
A new thought-provoking novel exploring the complexity of motherhood and all that connects and disconnects us.
You think you know her…but look a little closer.
She is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy, and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess.
Then one moment changes everything.
Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface—and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself. The truth can’t come soon enough.
This is a very emotional book, beautifully written and all too believable. It is almost 18 years since I attended the antenatal classes for our first child and this book made me think carefully about the other parents-to-be we met.
The story is set ten years later when Jess takes baby Betsey to hospital because she seems unwell but in fact has a fractured skull. Her friend Liz, from the antenatal class, is a doctor at the hospital and has to involve the police and social services.
As the story evolves, we have flashbacks to how the antenatal group bonded over sleepless nights and mum’s nights out. Alongside the mystery of Betsey’s injury, Liz is dealing with her mother, who we discover has had a difficult relationship with her children.
This is a fast paced story, I didn’t want to put it down. As a mum of two, this reminded me how different life is when you become a mother, especially if you aren’t sleeping properly, have a poorly child and feel isolated from the world. We are very good at bottling up our feelings or hiding how we feel. I remember crying over a neighbour in my early days as a mum, she made my a cup of tea, sat me down and did my ironing. Sometimes we can help a mum by listening and/or doing something practical to help, sometimes professional help is needed. In my opinion, Sarah Vaughan has captured this perfectly in the story.
This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Vaughan and I look forward to catching up on her previous books.
Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance and write fiction.
Her 3rd novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, was an instant international bestseller, a Sunday Times top five bestseller, a kindle number 1 bestseller, a Richard & Judy pick, and was longlisted for the Theakson’s Old Peculier Crime Novel and shortlisted for awards in France, Sweden and the UK. It has been translated into 22 languages and is being adapted for TV.
Her 4th novel, Little Disasters, will be published in France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the UK on April 2 and the US on August 18. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children.
For more information about how Sarah writes, what inspires her writing, what books she enjoys reading – check out the Twitter Q&A session from Wednesday 5th June using #AtHomeWithBATC