This is such a mix-up of a book that is deceptive and teasing and it's not until the end that it all makes sense. Which, of course, is what it's supposed to be. Not until the end does the locked attic become a feature but the prospect of it hangs over the entire story like a spectre. The chapters are marked by an explosion, before it happened - even years before, days after, the day itself...it seems to be a significant event. Then there's the car crash.
A story about two families who live facing each other in an upmarket district in Kent. Told mainly from the perspective of one of the women in the first person, jumping across periods of time, telling a simple and often seemingly mundane lifeline. How she met her husband, how she feels by not being as well-connected or as wealthy as he is, her dysfunctional family and so on. How she suspects her neighbours (the snobby, affected wife and the quiet, creepy husband) of keeping secrets.
The other narrator is her teenage son and his story is about his friendship with the boy from the family over the road. This is a heart-warming coming of age tale, about friendship, anxiety and love. And secrets.
A confusing and disjointed mystery until everything falls cleverly into place. Some interesting characters with skilled nuance. Recommended.
Published by One More Chapter on 24 November 2022.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.