University friends, Max, Annie, Dominic, Kira and Jim have stayed friends for 20 years, each of them taking different paths, but always keeping in touch.
Max and Annie married and developed a highly successful London architect firm. On a sudden whim they changed course and moved to Cornwall to set up a glamping business, giving themselves and their adopted son a quieter way of life. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, with permits held up and angry farming neighbours, but the day finally arrived when they were ready to open for business.
They invite varsity friends they had not seen for a couple of years with their families down to Cornwall for a relaxing reunion to test run the glamping facilities. What follows is a well-crafted story that manages to illustrate life with children, teenage children, newborn and every age in between, including Kip, a 12-year-old boy who is damaged and troubled, who Annie and Max adopted.
It also depicts friendship groups, no matter how long standing, always have secrets and failures, bullies and well-meaning, and often judgemental conversations that fester and ferment.
Throw into the mix a Cornish local with a dangerous agenda of his own, a lost six-year-old girl, the troubled young boy who appears back at camp with her blood-soaked teddy bear and four sets of parents turning on each other, and the blame game begins. The raging storm and the craggy coastline exacerbates the drama, and you are set for a wild read filled with long hidden jealousies and aggression.
Reviewed by Alison Logie
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I inherited my love for the written word from my parents, who read to me and my siblings as young children and took us on frequent trips to our local library and bookshop.
Since university, my career has been grounded in storytelling, first in book publishing in London, then later, transitioning from written tales to visual stories, when I worked for a film distributor in Sydney.
I wrote my debut novel, Secrets of the Tides, around the time my first child was born. Since then, I’ve written four novels, with my fifth, The Search Party, to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2024.
While each of my novels is a stand-alone story, what connects them all is my fascination with families and secrets, my desire to dive below the surface and explore the darker recesses of the human experience, the weight of grief and the echoes of loss, the light and resilience that can be found in unexpected places, combined with my ambition to tell you a cracking story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.
I have written fiction and non-fiction pieces for various media outlets in both the UK and Australia and am a judge on the annual Richell Prize, established in 2014 by Hachette and the Emerging Writers’ Festival in memory of my late husband, Matt Richell. It’s an incredible privilege to be invited to read a writer’s first pages and to support new authors as they take the next steps in their career.
I am a dual citizen of the UK and Australia and currently live just outside Bath in England with my two children, my partner, three step-children, a fluffy cat and a crazy Cocker Spaniel.