Hello bookish friends. Its been a while. How are you all doing? I was on break but now I’m back! That means more and more reviews coming up soon InshaAllah.
Today, I’m going to review a book I read last month – The Housewarming by S. L. Lynes. I read it as an Arc copy from Netgalley.
Title: The Housewarming
Author: S. E. Lynes
Genres: Suspense, Psychological Fiction
Published: 23 October 2020
Everyone is going to the housewarming party.
All the same people who lived on the street the day Abi vanished…
Will her mother finally learn the truth?
Ava only left her daughter in the pushchair for five minutes. The buckle was fastened, and she was sure it was safe. But when she came downstairs, the door was open and Abi was gone – she walked down the road, past the Lovegoods’ house, and was never seen again.
A year later, the Lovegoods throw a housewarming party, showing off the results of their renovation. Ava doesn’t want to go. She can’t bear to look down that end of the road, to see the place where Abi vanished, and she doesn’t want to spend time with people who don’t share her grief. Her husband Matt persuades her: he’s worried about her. A night out might do her good.
But as her friends and neighbours chat, and the drink and gossip flows, Ava learns something new about the day she has re-lived a thousand times. A throwaway comment which could change everything.
Ava thought she knew every last detail of that day.
She’s about to find out she was wrong…
This was an emotional read for me. One of my best 2020 books btw. It was sad, thrilling, intense, marvellously written and most especially, intriguing. I’ve never read a book by this author before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The title and cover caught my attention and I requested for it on NetGalley. At first i thought it would be more of The-Haunting-Party/The-Guest-Book vibes, but i was wrong.
The first chapter was marvellous, the reader notices a sort of tense environment but still unaware of the elephant in the room. After few pages, we understand the real deal. A baby is missing and the mother is beyond distraught. Can you imagine? A two year old baby!
What could have happened is the main question everyone is asking. The neighbourhood for starters, is a safe place. There hasn’t ever been a case of a missing person, let alone a child, but well, there’s always a first time.
Is that the case for sweet little Abi? Did some monster just happen to sneak in to the house and kidnap her?
As the book progressed, I was really hoping for Abi to be found. After a year though, the family have lost hope. At the most unexpected moment, something wierd happened. Though I had been suspecting this particular person, and when the neighbours little girl acknowledged him as ‘pockets’ and also acknowledged Abi’s doll Mr Sloth which she had never set eyes on as Mr Sloth and also called him ‘Mr Sloth Pockets’, I knew i was right. There was a link somewhere. Just like Ava, going rigid with panic, and the intense need to investigate this. I love Ava’s determination as a mother. After this little piece of info came to light, Ava knew she was on to something. Something that might just be the reason as to why her precious little Abi went missing that faithful Monday morning, one year ago.
The conclusion was more emotional than I thought. Finding the real culprit and finally knowing what happened was too sad.
This book also discusses a crucial problem we face everyday, everywhere. That of missing children. There are families out there who have been looking for their children for a long time. The wait is excruciatingly painful, and I pray they’re found.
S. E. Lynes is the Amazon best selling author of ‘intelligent and haunting’ psychological thrillers, VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT, THE PROPOSAL, THE WOMEN, THE LIES WE HIDE, and CAN YOU SEE HER?
Formerly a BBC producer, she turned to novel writing after the birth of her third child.
After her MA in Creative Writing, she became a Creative Writing Tutor at Richmond Adult Community College and now combines writing, mentoring and lecturing. She has also published three children’s books in Italy.
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