About the book
Ailsa Tilson moves with her husband and children to Trinity Fields in search of the
new. New project – a house to renovate. New people – no links to the past. New
friends – especially her next-door neighbour, the lonely Verity, who needs her help.
Verity has lived in Trinity Fields all her life. She’s always resisted change. Her home
and belongings are a shield, a defence to keep the outside world at bay. But something
about the Tilsons piques her interest. Just as her ivy creeps through the shared garden
fence, so Verity will work her way into the Tilson family.
And once they realise how formidable she can be, it might well be too late.
Thank you to Jenny Platt for my invitation to the tour and for my gorgeous copy of the book in return for a fair and honest review.
The story begins with us being introduced to Verity and Ailsa, something bad has happened and Verity is protecting Ailsa. Verity is telling the story in the first person, she has lived in the house in Trinity fields her whole life,first with her mother and her sister Faith. Her and her sister fall out after the death of her mother. Verity says that she had an unconventional upbringing, but she was bright and goes off to university and when her mother gets ill and her sister says she has had enough of being her mothers carer she has to move back in.
The story moves to more recent times when Ailsa, Tom and their children Melissa, Max and Bea, move next door.
Verity does not have much of a life and she is flattered when she is asked to tutor Max as he is struggling at school with his literacy. The couple find out about Verity’s job and they ask her to help and she enjoys being part of their lives and being needed. She does get angry because Ailsa doesn’t pay her and that Tom invites her around so that he can tackle her about the state of her garden.
I did not know what to think about the characters in this book, none of them are particularly likeable, but some of them made me have empathy for them. Tom is a bully and is not nice to anyone and starts to express his dislike about the state of Verity’s garden. It becomes clear that there is something not right about Verity and when Ailsa pops around the her house unannounced, we start to see another side of her.
At the top of each chapter, there is an item listed as the header and a word this is a link to Verity’s job as an editor for The Oxford English Dictionary but also to something in the chapter. The significance of the item you discover as you progress the book. It is a clever read, quite a slow pace and you get to know the characters really intimately before you find out where the story is going. Which I will not be giving away.
Verity is such a complex character, one minute I felt empathy and sadness for her and the next disbelief and anger. She has so many secrets of her own it is difficult to know when the truth starts and the lies begin.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it kept me on my toes all the way until the end. It is a fantastic read about obsession, loneliness and murder. It is dark and disturbing and so clever, you will need to keep on reading into the night.
5 stars from me !
Sabine Durrant is the author of four psychological thrillers, Under Your Skin,
Remember Me This Way, Lie With Me, a Richard & Judy Bookclub selection and
Sunday Times paperback bestseller, and Take Me In. Her previous novels are
Having It and Eating It and The Great Indoors, and two books for teenage girls,
Cross Your Heart, Connie Pickles and Ooh La La! Connie Pickles. She is a former
features editor of the Guardian and a former literary editor at the Sunday Times,
and her writing has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines.
She lives in south London with her partner and their three children.