I listened to this on audiobook a while back. I really enjoyed it on audio, mostly because Imogen, the narrator, has an AH-MAY-ZING voice! Her accent is perfect for this book!
Unfortunately, I noticed in the book world, the written book didn’t get such nice reviews. That makes me sad, because the audio was so fun! Yes, the story gets a little convoluted at times, but the twists in the story are almost impossible to predict, so that makes it a nice book 🙂
Author: Ruth Ware
Number of pages: 370
Purchase it here.
Isa, the main narrator, is a lawyer living in London. When she receives a text, “I Need You,” she knows exactly who it’s from, and she knows even more that she will go. The text was from her school friend, Kate. Along with Fatima and Thea, the four friends are reunited after years of separation.
The book divides between the present and the past, as the story of friendship, family, and love are unraveled. When the friends find out why Kate called them all together, none of the four of them knows if their friendship can survive the fallout.
Ruth Ware is the author of other books like: The Woman in Cabin 10, The Turn of the Key, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway. She writes from North London, where she lives after moving from Paris and Sussex. You can find her at her website here.
Miss Farquharson turned and was about to go, when she stopped and her expression changed. She bent and sniffed the air above Thea’s head. “Thea, what’s this I smell? Please don’t tell me you have been smoking on school property. Miss Weatherby made it very clear last term that if there were any further instances of this we’d be calling your father and discussing suspension.”
There was a long pause. I saw Thea’s fingers were gripping the table edge. She exchanged a look with Kate and then opened her mouth – but to my own surprise, I found myself speaking first.
“We were stuck in a smoking carriage, Miss Farquharson. On the train. There was a man there with a cigar – poor Thea was sitting next to him.”
“It was disgusting,” Fatima put in. “Like, really stinky. I felt sick even though I was by the window.”
Miss Farquharson turned to look at us, and I could see her appraising us both – me with my clear girlish face and smile, and Fatima, her dark eyes innocent and guileless. I felt my fingers go nervously to my hair and stopped myself, linking my fingers together behind my back, like a kind of restraint hold. Slowly, Miss Farquharson nodded.
“How very unpleasant. Well, we’ll say nothing more, Thea. This time. Now sit down, girls. The prefects will start serving out in a moment.”
We sat down, and Miss Farquharson moved away.
“Bloody hell,” Thea whispered. She reached across the table to where I was sitting and squeezed my hand, her fingers cold against mine and still shaking with spent nerves. “And…God, I don’t know what to say. Thank you!”
“Seriously,” Kate said. She shook her head her expression a mix of relief and rueful admiration. The steely fury I’d seen in her expression as she faced up to Helen was gone, as if it had never existed. “Both of you pulled that off like pros.”
“Welcome to the Lying Game,” Thea said.
This book is very well-written. I am enjoying it very much. I’m writing this review, even though I haven’t read the book all the way through, I’ve listened to the audio, so I know the story. I drove as often as I could so I could listen to the book. I was completely hooked! The characters were a little one-dimensional, but I could overlook that because the story was so good! Isa is a mom, and I often wondered how safe the baby truly was with her. She drank, smoked, and left the child alone quite a bit, in order for her friends to not feel abandoned.
The author does a fantastic job at building the world of the story. The reader can tell she really knows England, because she really brings us into the story through the setting. At times, I could really feel I was walking through the bog, or watching the sunset over the Reach. I could even visualize myself sitting at lunch with the 4 girls at Salten School.
I’m giving this book 4 stars, because while I did really enjoy it, I couldn’t get past the one-dimensionality of the characters. Fatima seemed the most well-rounded, and she isn’t in the story as much as the other girls. The book is action-driven, rather than character-driven, which as you know from other reviews, I prefer. I love good character growth as much as the next person, but if the characters’ growth comes at the expense of a good story, I tend to frown to myself.
I enjoyed this book, and I hope you did too. Unfortunately, this book didn’t get the good reviews that I would expect. This book had some unexpected twists and turns, but they made the story more enjoyable, not less. The book was the perfect combination of character driven and action driven. Even though the book goes back and forth between present and flashback, it wasn’t confusing.
I hope you like this book! Have you read it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below! I’d also love to connect with you on Instagram and Facebook! You can find me on Instagram here and Facebook here!
Until next time, Bookworms!