Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish
Published by Penguin
21st May 2015
Paperback Edition

My name is Amber Fraser. I've just moved in at Number 40, Lime Park Road. You'll come to think of me as a loving wife, a thoughtful neighbour and a trusted friend.

This is a lie.

When Christy and Joe Davenport are handed the keys to Number 40 on picture-perfect Lime Park Road, Christy knows it should be a dream come true. How strange though that the house was on the market for such a low price. That the previous owners, the Frasers, had renovated the entire property yet moved out within a year. That none of the neighbours will talk to Christy.

As her curiosity begins to give way to obsession, Christy finds herself drawn deeper into the mystery of the house's previous occupants - and the dark and shocking secret that tore the street apart . . .

This book was one of the Curtis Brown book group reads, but not one that I was sent.  It's had a lot of positive press over on the Twitter-sphere so I decided to give it a go.  The synopsis is that young couple Christy and Joe find a house for sale on Lime Park Road in London.  It's the house of their dreams, and  available at such a reduced price that they would never be able to afford it otherwise.  They snap it up, despite the debt it will leave them in, because, after all, who wouldn't want to live here?  Pretty much as soon as they move in though, Christy finds that her neighbours are not as friendly or as welcoming as she imagined they would be.  There seems to be a lot of tension on Lime Park Road, particularly where her next-door neighbour is concerned.  The only problem is, no one will tell her or Joe what's been going on.

Our other narrator is Amber, former resident of 40 Lime Park Road.  She exudes glamour and is clearly the most popular member of the street on which she lives.  Having had a dodgy past, she has married well, and now lives a life others can only dream of.  But as we come to find out, this is only a facade, and the real Amber is not at all how her neighbours imagine her to be.

I really did enjoy this book, and was gripped into finding out why the Frasers suddenly left their fantastic designer home without a word to anyone else.  Clearly there is something dodgy going on, or why would you leave this amazing property and sell it for a fraction of it's worth?  I too though would be like Christy, and twitch the curtains, trying to ascertain what is going on outside my very front door - us Brits are such nosey neighbours!  In fact, I stayed up until well past midnight in order to finish it!  My only gripe was the ending.  It seemed too easy to me and wasn't quite the dramatic close I had been anticipating, or even wanted which was a pity because this is a really good book and I would recommend it.  But then, I am one of the few who thought Gone Girl finished with a pfff ending too, and that hasn't stopped it from being one of the most talked of books in the past few years, so there's hope here too.  I predict many a copy being read around the pool this summer!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapter x

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