Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
'Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married. Rock solid in fact. So when Natty's oldest friend, Eve Dalladay, appears - just as their daughter collapses on a school trip in France - Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve with Sean to help out at home.
Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well. Natty's husband has fallen in love with Eve. He's sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over.
With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself.
And then she receives the note.
Eve has done this before, more than once, and with fatal consequences...'
When I was contacted on Twitter inviting me to join the 'Keep your friend's close' book blog tour I jumped at the chance. To begin with I was worried I wouldn't have enough time to read it before I needed to post the review on my blog. I should not have been worried, I read the book in two sittings (less than 24 hours) and was surprised how quickly I finished it.
Paula Daly is a new author to me, I had not heard of her debut novel, however after reading this I would rush out to get it and read.
Natty and Sean are happily married, they were childhood sweethearts, followed each other to university and now have two teenage daughters, Felicity and Alice. It was a relationship that everyone thought wouldn't last but they proved them all wrong. Today they run a very successful hotel in the Lakes, have a wonderful car and house. From the outside they have the perfect life.
Natty works very hard to keep the perfect family life, running after everyone and juggling being a mum with running a hotel. One thing she has neglected lately is her husband Sean, but he understands she is busy right?
Sean hasn't been happy in their marriage for a while, it's as if Natty doesn't have any time for him anymore. He can't remember the last time they actually spent any time together, just the two of them. He is beginning to feel abandoned and that he is so far down the line of getting any attention off of Natty as she has more important things to care about. But he is important isn't he? And he has needs too...
Felicity is on a school trip in France, there is a problem and she is called to come quickly. Luckily Natty's old university friend Eve is staying to look after her family for her.
Eve Dalladay is Natty's old friend who she hasn't seen in years, she currently lives in America but after an argument with her husband flees the country and comes back to the UK. She turns up at Natty's at a time when she needs her, they both have been through so much and know each other inside and out, or do they? Eve has a plan and sets straight to work while Natty is away. After all Natty won't mind her staying looking after her family, they go back so far and she trusts her with her life. It doesn't take long for Natty's life to get turned upside down and Eve is behind it.
Natty needs to be sensible, she is having her life ruined by someone who she thought was her friend, she has taken her husband and she knows if she is not careful her daughters will follow suit.
This is a brilliant story, the characters are real and deep. The story line is excellent, believable and gets your questioning do you really know your friends. It is excellently written and keeps you hooked throughout. I was routing for Natty to expose the truth and willing someone to believe her, I became passionate about her as a character, I really got behind her. I hated Eve and I desperately wanted her to be found out and want Sean to see what she was capable of. She gives the persona of a monster who will not stop until she gets what she wants and this makes the story a captivating read.
Other characters are introduced into the story such as Natty's dad, Jackie and Eve's mother. These provide background information on the main characters and we follow their journey from their past to the present day. This helps give different opinions and to help you form your own opinion on them.
I enjoyed the book immensely, however I did feel like I was left wanting a little more. I felt questions weren't answered and it was left to the readers interpretation. Had the book been a little longer I felt some of these questions could have been answered. There were a few twists I was not expecting during the book - particularly towards the end which made me enjoy the book even more. I found the book gripping and captivating and I would recommend others to read this.
I would like to thank Alison for sending me this copy to review. Alison has also very kindly given me a copy to offer as a giveaway! This book is a must read so be sure to enter!
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