MY RATING: ★★★★☆
The book is about this little neighborhood who has developed a special community sense until a new family came and changed everything. Clare, a single mother with two girls, Pip and Grace, are obliged to adapt to this new environment after their father had a schizophrenia period attack. Grace, the older sister, still remembers everything but Pip seems to miss her dad more than ever and writes to him everyday.
Clare’s family will meet Adele’s family, a mother of 3 girls with a, maybe too handsome, husband, Leo. And each family has their own dark secrets. The story blends suspense, thriller and drama perfectly.
This book is a challenge for all parents. You are warned. The author depicts children in their most unusual ways and what they are ready to do for the love they think they deserve. It also features the growing up teenagers in this modern age. Exposed to social media, questions and answers about sexuality become more accessible and dominant. How are teenagers , transition between children’s heart and a mature mind, compromise this mixing? The innocence vs. the dirty mind.
Parenting is not an easy job. We have the two facades of parenting here: single motherhood and a perfect family. Adele’s family, while they seem perfect with 3 girls, we can see the struggles they are facing. A lovely husband, maybe too lovely for his own good, with a suspicious wife. Clare, a single mother who is desperate for love, with a schizophrenic ex-husband , has to raise her kids on her own. She is trying hard to fulfill her mother’s responsibilities while trying to fit in the neighborhood.
We also get to know the kids. While the parents see them as innocent as they can get, us, the readers get the insight of how hierarchical the gang is. We can see the teenage age and the struggle of having to react to peer pressure, how twisted they can be when they are not in their right mindset. We have the Mean Girl, The New Girl, The Mean Girl’s best friend who falls in love with the New Girl. Teenage drama all over again. And they are only 12-13 years old.
What I love the most about the book is the parallel with the adult world and the children’s. The author is trying to show us that finally, as adults we still have the same problems as teenagers. The same insecurities are floating in the air. The same quest for love.
The characters were all very interesting. I loved Pip! Her letters were adorable and I love how she still manages to try to understand the world yet she still being smart and very cautious.
I received an ARC for the Summer Fiction Blog Tour provided by Simon and Schuster Canada. You can keep track with other bloggers and read their past and future reviews of this book!
THANK YOU TO SIMON & SCHUSTER CANADA FOR SENDING US AN ADVANCE COPY FOR REVIEW.