Naomi seems to have everything. A beautiful daughter, a gorgeous house, a perfect life. Behind the scenes, though, she and her husband are drifting from one another and struggling to conceive their second child.
Then Naomi meets a parent at her daughter;s nursery. Sean understands her, or so she thinks. Looking for a connection, for a friend, she joins him at a swimming lesson with their children. That day, Naomi makes a terrible mistake.
Weeks later, when Naomi attempts to contact Sean, he has disappeared without a trace. But as she begins to piece her life back together, it becomes clear that someone else knows her secret. Someone who wants to make sure she never forgets what she did at the pool.
After reading the blurb for this book I was really looking forward to reading it, however, I have to say I struggled getting into it, non of the characters are actually likeable, or relatable. Although believable probably. Naomi has always wanted 3 children, from what we are told Charlie did too. But now it has become obsessive with Naomi to fall pregnant, with apps on their phones, telling her when she ovulates, the pressure is on Charlie to perform.
They have purchased a large house on the seafront, after leaving all their friends in the city behind. It’s not the house that Naomi had wanted, she had fallen in love with a previous property, but a bad deal done by Charlie who is self employed, meant they didn’t have the money to buy it. So the house they have is a house which needs work, so the builders are constantly there. Naomi works part time, dropping ‘Prue’ their 2 year old daughter off at nursery. Charlie works from home he has an office on the top floor of the house.
Charlie seems to struggle with depression, as some of the chapters are his visits to a therapist. Where we learn how he really feels about things. Naomi sees one of the dads at the nursery Sean who she nicknames ‘The Lumberjack’ as he wears an open checked shirt. She admires him, she flirts with him, he reciprocates. Telling her he takes Greg to swimming lessons he invites her to bring Prue. She goes, but Naomi makes a mistake.
Texts Sean to say that they can’t see each other again, but then she needs to speak to him, but Greg no longer goes to the nursery, Sean doesn’t respond to her messages, he seems to have disappeared.
But strange things start happening to Naomi, things she can’t remember doing. Interspersed in the chapters are text messages from seemingly random people, which cause some confusion as you are reading as you have no clue who these people are.
Then there is Uggy who works at the nursery that Prue goes to, who is the person she is seeing? As you get to the middle of the book the tension ratchets up with each chapter, having you guessing what is going on. Who is Sean? What is he up to?
Despite not liking the characters, Naomi is clinical in everything she does, she never seems happy with life, but I think it is just how she approaches everything, Charlie is again an unlikeable character, he does suffer with depression and I get that as I struggle myself with it, but again at times he seems so totally detached. But maybe that makes these two perfect for each other.
The story is well written, and the ending is a surprise, although I was looking at different ways for it to go, so it caught me slightly off guard. A good debut novel, will be watching out for the next book by this author.
I give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ a great debut novel.
I would like to thank #netgalley #pigeonholeHQ and #RandomHouseUK for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest fair and unbiased review.