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Book Review – The Sudden Departure of the Frasers

Louise Candlish

My book group had chosen The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish as our book this month and I was determined to read this one. Our book club has been going for over two years and what started off as a suggestion in the pub one day has turned into a thriving group.

The last few months have ben so hectic that I have either not managed to read the book club choice or not been able to make our nights out. Nothing beats a good book and over the years I have been an avid reader but these days I enjoy reading blog posts just as much so it takes something pretty special to hold my attention. Boy did this book do that, I could not put it down!

Christy and Joe can not believe their luck when a beautiful home, far beyond their means comes on the market at a bargain price. It is as though all their Christmases have come at once. The house is on a leafy street, in a trendy London suburb, surrounded by good schools and more designer finishes than you can shake a stick at. It is only once they move in that they begin to realise everything is not as it seems.

Christy and Joe never met the previous owners Amber and Jeremy Fraser, all they know is that they left in a hurry and no one seems to know where they went. Looking forward to getting to know their new neighbours, Christy begins to develop a sense of unease and paranoia as she and Joe are shunned by all those around them. When Christy loses her job and finds herself at home all day long and Joe working long hours to pay their huge mortgage she becomes a little obsessed with finding out why the Frasers left so suddenly and how their bearded, rude and unfriendly neighbour is implicated, which she is sure he is.

Candlish writes each chapter in turn from the perspectives of Christy and then Amber Fraser, hoping backwards and forwards between the past and current occupants of the house. These characters are so well written that you feel as though they are in the room with you, especially the character of Amber whose chapters are written in the first person.

I won’t say much more as I really don’t want to take anything away from your enjoyment of the book. I could hardly put the book down, as soon as I had read a chapter from Christy in the present, I wanted to quickly read on to Amber in the past and so on and so on it went. I even took it with me on the school run with meĀ in case I was early to pick up and could cram in 5 minutes of reading in the car! This book was like sitting down and having your own view of the street and all that had been going on for the last few years. The cast of characters were all just as you would find in any suburban street and all very believable in their actions and behaviours.

If you are looking for a good read this summer you will not, in my humble opinion, go far wrong with this book. It is a real page turner and although the plots seems blindingly obvious quite early on, don’t be fooled. there are more twist and turns than a country lane taking you far from where you thought you would end up. I have never read any books by Louise Candlish before but will definitely be seeking more out by her in the future.