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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who should you trust with your child?
Callie and Suzy are neighbours on Churchill Road in north London. Callie is a single mother with a frail 5 year old daughter Rae while Suzy has 3 young sons, Henry also 5, and younger twin sons, Otto and Peter. The two women do everything together until Callie decides to dip her toe back into working life and Debs moves in to the same street.

Each of the three...
Published on 6 May 2012 by C. Bannister

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished
I'm afraid I gave up half way through as I just stopped caring about any of the characters in this book. It started quite well but the oddness of Debs and Allen, and the complete cardboard ness of the two husbands, Tom and Jez, were a total turn off. Not for me
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer


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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who should you trust with your child?, 6 May 2012
By 
C. Bannister (Jersey, CI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
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Callie and Suzy are neighbours on Churchill Road in north London. Callie is a single mother with a frail 5 year old daughter Rae while Suzy has 3 young sons, Henry also 5, and younger twin sons, Otto and Peter. The two women do everything together until Callie decides to dip her toe back into working life and Debs moves in to the same street.

Each of the three women narrate their own short chapters so as readers we are able to piece together their feelings, their secrets and what links these three women together.

The plot moves quickly and as the reader we know something amiss from the blurb. Who's child is in danger, who from and why? The themes in this story range through what makes a friendship, what part the past has to play on our lives and who should you trust? Some of the minor characters seemed to be clichéd but hey clichés exist for a reason!

Although there were some parts to this story which didn't seem to be followed through to their conclusion almost as if they were there to drive the story in one direction in an earlier draft which I found a little confusing. I enjoyed this book and will be keen to see what Louise Millar produces next.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished, 3 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Playdate (Kindle Edition)
I'm afraid I gave up half way through as I just stopped caring about any of the characters in this book. It started quite well but the oddness of Debs and Allen, and the complete cardboard ness of the two husbands, Tom and Jez, were a total turn off. Not for me
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the blurb on the back of the book, 27 Mar 2012
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Jood (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
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Three women are neighbours on an ordinary street in London; this novel is about how their lives become connected.

Callie, a single mother whose small daughter Rae has suffered health problems in infancy and is somewhat fragile. She is obsessively over-protective, irritatingly so, which has a detrimental effect on Rae who just wants to be a normal little girl.

Suzy, an American woman who annoyingly addresses Callie as "hon" at every opportunity (I've lived in North America and have yet to meet anyone who used this annoying word as often as this character) lives across the road from Callie and since their friendship began a couple of years previously they have become dependant on each other. Suzy is married to stiff, formal Jez and is the mother of his three sons; the older one Henry seems to have some sort of behavioural problems. Maybe this is why Suzy is desperate to have another baby - preferably a girl.

Next door to Suzy is Debs, the new arrival to the street and the Crazy Lady, prone to bouts of paranoia and other craziness, and so obviously the one we're sure is The Bad One.

This novel is reasonably well written but it takes sooooo long to get to the point. I wasn't so much bored with it as frustrated; the blurb on the back cover leads one to believe that this will be a psychological thriller....."the book that will haunt mothers everywhere"...... it isn't. It's a tale of three women, none of whom is particularly likeable, who live fairly ordinary lives in an ordinary street. I was waiting for Something to Happen.....roughly 50 pages from the end it finally does, and even then it's quite predictable. The explanation for Debs strange behaviour is just plain ridiculous, and the loose ends are tied up just a little too neatly. I also think the title and front cover are misleading, as is the blurb on the jacket, as one is lead to believe there is far more to the book than is held between its pages. I would say that it's easy reading for a wet weekend, or once again that ubiquitous deck chair on a sunny day, but on the whole I found it a let down, and would have given it two and half stars had that option been available.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking book, 3 May 2012
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D. Pearce "djarmhp" (rainham, kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
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I enjoyed the writing style of The Playdate which was fast paced and easy to lose yourself in. Louise Millar definitely knows her audience and the central story will strike a chord with most mothers who have had to leave their children with anyone else. To my surprise I found the story quite believeable and unnerving especially with the twist in the final few chapters. The main strength of the twist is the fact that it's logical and not one that leaves you feeling short changed as a number of others have done. I will definitely be looking out for more Louise Millar books after this.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'You never know who you can trust with your own kids.', 27 April 2012
By 
L. H. Healy "Books are life, beauty and truth." (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
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Callie and Suzy are neighbours on Churchill Road in north London, close to Alexandra Palace. Callie's daughter Rae has a heart condition and she has to be careful not to over exert herself. American Suzy has a son, Henry, who is friends with Rae, and also she has twin sons. New neighbours Debs and her husband Allen move into the street, next door to Suzy. Callie is separated from husband Tom, whilst Suzy's husband Jez seems to spend every hour of the day working, with little time for her or the children. Callie and Suzy have formed a kind of friendship through the friendship of their children Rae and Henry, offering support to each other and often sharing childcare duties.

Callie hasn't found many of the other mothers at Rae's school to be at all friendly, feels left out, and so has found that she has come to rely on Suzy and her support more than she would perhaps like to. As the novel opens, we meet Callie trying to prepare herself to draw back from her reliance on Suzy.

The lives of the three neighbours become linked, but what is lying underneath this calm facade? Who is genuinely to be trusted? You know that you can expect something, but what?

I found myself immediately drawn into the story and interested in the characters, and I stayed interested throughout. It's a page-turner, a quick read with fairly short chapters, alternating between the three neighbours Callie, Suzy, and Debs. Callie's story, her life with Rae and her secrets, are at the centre of the novel and her story is told in the first person. The everyday concerns of the school run, friendships, relationships are portrayed, characters are established, and the story builds slowly and steadily. But there is a darkness lurking somewhere, only hinted at, and towards the conclusion, the author really ratchets up the tension, and as we learn more about each of the three characters' pasts, we being to piece together where the danger really lies, as the truth slowly emerges, and the tale builds to a tense finish.

This novel makes you think about your friendships, how you judge people, whether someone is really a friend or a stranger, and who has your best interests at heart. It gives an insight into the psychology of how a controlling, manipulative person behaves, and is a stark reminder that you really never know who you can totally trust.

I enjoyed this book, and would read more from this author in the future.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Playdate, 3 Jun 2012
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Nikki - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
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Firstly don't be fooled by the synopsis that this is a thriller about child abduction, its not! Its actually about 3 women characters who are neighbours and how their lives interconnect. The story starts off slowly with chapters narrated by each character and at first I wondered if I would like this book as it was not at all what I was expecting. However I soon became engrossed in the book and found it to be a very cleverly written, chilling and page turning read. Plenty of suspense and mystery with some great twists and turns thrown in. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more from Louise Miller.
Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
I was looking forward to this,but it really takes so long to get to the point of the story i was losing interest.
I found it pretty confusing in places as to what was happening with the 3 main characters.
All in all a disapointing read really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, sometimes far-fetched- but overall good read, 29 Aug 2012
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Maggie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
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I notice some reviewers feel that this story was an unrealistic portrayal of the problems of single motherhood. That may well be true, but without the coincidences and slightly unbelievable elements it would not have been a story at all - or rather it would have been a very boring tale of "struggling single mother with childcare problems": not what I want to read about, thanks! Instead the author has imagined and then exaggerated the pitfalls of being a lone mother in a big city, not knowing whom to trust and doing her best with potentially dangerous consequences. I think she does it very well and thus provides a story that has suspense and unexpected twists that will keep you guessing. I sometimes felt empathy for Callie and at others was exasperated by her, but for me that made her real - not a saint, as some reviewers appear to have expected! Another reviewer gave up long before the end so her negative views on the characters cannot really be valid - much is revealed later in the book that explains why people are as they are.I recommend you read it and make up your own mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read it in two sittings - luckily, without having to hand my kids over to a neighbour to find the time ;-), 30 July 2012
This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
From the premise of this novel I knew I was likely to enjoy it. But what I wasn't prepared for was to find myself so relating to many parts of all three of the main characters at different points of the book. Only to have those similarities frighten me when the twists came again and again.

I think Rae is such a clever and interesting character to have in there too. Her fragility makes the sinister atmosphere extremely tense. You will her safe and warm and cared for... like you do your own kids.

I loved this book. I think it will, of course, appeal first and foremost to parents but it's also so much about friendship and trust and paranoia and 'fitting in' and I think that's something most people can relate to.

Fantastic, loved it! Will be looking out for more by Louise Millar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can anyone be trusted with your children?, 11 July 2012
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
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Callie, Suzy and Debs all live in the same street. Callie is a single mother and lives with her daughter Rae who has a heart problem. She wants to go back to work but that will need careful planning. Suzy is an American, married to Jez and mother of three small boys. Debs is married with no children and a part time job at a nearby school - she has just moved in next door to Suzy. The story is told from the point of view of each woman in alternate chapters. Callie narrates her own story and the other two are told in the third person.

Gradually the tension builds up as the story progresses. Is Debs really mad and what is her history? She thinks people are spying on her but just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you. Is Suzy really the good friend Callie thinks she is? Surely it would be easy to tell your best friend that you have an opportunity to go back to work? Is Suzy's marriage really as strong as it appears? Who can you really trust with your children?

This is an interesting story which shows you cannot judge by appearances and that it is difficult to know who you can really trust. I found it well written and intriguing to try and piece things together to work out what is going on. I found Callie a little annoying as a character though I thought Debs was well done and I liked her in spite of her obsession with calm and order. The men in the story were more shadowy characters and did not really come to life for me which is why I have only given the book four stars. If you want something a bit different then give this a try - chick lit it definitely isn't in spite of its cover picture.
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The Playdate
The Playdate by Louise Millar (Paperback - 26 April 2012)
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