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33 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story telling, believable characters.
I've recently read quite a few books about a group of friends, as well as a few about reunions.. so I knew that this one would have to offer me something a little different to stand out, which it did.

The key for me were the characters.. the four friends weren't stereotypical, but complex, and flawed, and this made them very human, and very believable...
Published on 27 Feb. 2008 by Michelle Moore

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I totally agree with the reviewer Claire; I love Emily Barr's previous work and this one was a bit of a disappointment. I couldn't believe the ending - truly fizzled out into nothing. I thought maybe some pages were missing at the end of the book!
Published on 29 July 2007 by booklover


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story telling, believable characters., 27 Feb. 2008
By 
Michelle Moore (Dartford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Out of my Depth (Paperback)
I've recently read quite a few books about a group of friends, as well as a few about reunions.. so I knew that this one would have to offer me something a little different to stand out, which it did.

The key for me were the characters.. the four friends weren't stereotypical, but complex, and flawed, and this made them very human, and very believable.

Set in the French countryside, which sounds wonderful, the story flicks back and forth between their school friendship, and the present day reunion, gradually revealing their past secrets, and how that had affected the people they were today. The author doesn't try to rely on humour, but rather simple good story telling.

I've read a few reviews that criticise the ending of this book, but for me it worked just fine, once again offering some rather realistic outcomes.

This is definitely an author that I will be looking out for again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True to form.., 27 Sept. 2007
By 
LittleReader (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out of my Depth (Paperback)
I love Emily Barr's novels and this one didnt disappoint. Centred around one weekend as four old friends meet up for a reunion, the tension rises steadily as you wait to find out what the secret is that they're witholding and is bursting at the seams to be told!!
Extremely readable, my only criticism is that there were loose ends that could have been tied up better - the ending felt a tad rushed.
All in all though - another excellent offering from EB
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emily Barr's Best Yet, 8 Aug. 2006
By 
Book-obsessed (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Out of my Depth (Hardcover)
I am a fan of Emily Barr's books, and always look forward to the next one. This has to be the best yet - gripping, well-written as usual, and thoroughly readable. It would make a fantastic film. It would be the perfect book to take on holiday!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great EB novel, 28 Jun. 2011
By 
Josie (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Out of my Depth (Paperback)
I first discovered Emily Barr when I got Backpack free with a magazine many years ago. I loved that book, and EB's following novels however after Atlantic Shift I got a bit bored. A friend recently returned Cuban Heels to me after a 2 year loan which prompted me to read it again solely because I found myself on the bus without a Metro. After that my EB obsession was reborn!

I have just read Out of My Depth in the space of 4 days, I couldn't put it down. The characters are excellent and believable, although I feel more attention could be given to Tamsin as she was the only one I feel I didn't get to know very well. Initially you don't know why she is the member of the group everyone is wary of, wondering if she herself had been responsible for the friends drifting apart.

The book opens up well, setting the scene both in present time and back when the girls were at school. The sub-plot of the Barrons however is a bit odd, I thought it would end a lot more dramatically than it did, which makes me wonder really what was the point? That could have tied into the story to create a twist somehow which would have fitted in perfectly with EB's style.

The ending was a bit too soon. What happened next?!? An extra chapter of 6 months on would have been good. What about Susie's offer for Izzy to move to France? Is that withdrawn now she seems to have softened to Roman? Most dissapointing ending from an Emily Barr novel, but still a good gripping read that I would recomend.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 29 July 2007
By 
This review is from: Out of my Depth (Paperback)
I totally agree with the reviewer Claire; I love Emily Barr's previous work and this one was a bit of a disappointment. I couldn't believe the ending - truly fizzled out into nothing. I thought maybe some pages were missing at the end of the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Holiday Book, 28 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Out of my Depth (Paperback)
I have read all of Emily Barrs books and could not wait for this one to come out. It is not her best, which in my opinion is Cuban Heels, but certainly holds your interest from beginning to end. Once again set in France like Plan B but an entirely different story about a reunion of four school friends who have not seen one another since they were 18. The story switches back and forth between school and present day and shows how different each of the friends lives have become. It does not paint so much of a picture of the country in which it is set like the previous novels have but the characters are developed well and most people will relate to one of the friends lives past and present.

All in all another fantastic read from fantastic author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as her previous books, 17 Oct. 2007
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This review is from: Out of my Depth (Paperback)
The book was readable, but compared to her previous books this one was a bit disappointing, a bit depressing really. Shame.
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3.0 out of 5 stars When the Past Won't Go Away, 15 May 2015
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out of My Depth (Paperback)
Reunions are always the cause of disaster in popular fiction, and this novel by Emily Barr is no exception. Susie (formerly Suzii) has come a long way since her time as an overweight sixth-former and man-chaser at Lodwell's School, Cardiff (is this school modelled on Howells School?). She is slim, attractive, a well-regarded popular painter and has a lovely house in the South of France, plus an elegant boyfriend, Roman. So - what better time than to invite her three closest school friends, to show them how different she is from her schoolgirl self? Susie sets up a reunion weekend which, to her surprise, all three of her friends decide to attend. They too have changed since Cardiff days. Amanda (once a bulimic) is a horribly overweight alcoholic, both a pushy parent and a neglectful mother, who's pulling her reliable husband Patrick down with her. The once glamorous and artistic Izzy is the plump, weary survivor of an abusive marriage - though she does have a lovely small son, Sam. And Tamsin, once the 'geeky one without a boyfriend', has overcome a momentous personal trauma to form a successful and independent life in Australia, and is now tanned, glamorous and calmly wise. The changes in the friends' lives and appearances would be enough to cause tension on its own - but worse is to come, as it transpires that three of the women have a terrible secret that they have kept from the fourth for years. Now, two want to reveal it, but the third refuses to contemplate the idea... and tensions are building...

This was an odd read - I felt that Barr was in many ways an excellent writer, but I found the book itself oddly uneven and in some places downright bad. Admittedly, there were splendid parts. In Tamsin, Barr perfectly captured what it is like to be a teenager frustrated with not being grown up yet, full of aspirations and vague plans but still stuck in a very limited situation (I recognised some of the descriptions of how she felt from my own teenage years). I also felt she handled Izzy's development as she grew up from dreamy, rather passive girl to stalwart single mum very well. The early chapters describing the girls' experiences at school were great, and some of the descriptions of rural French life lovely. However, as I read on I found the book progressively more disjointed, and the plot more silly. Why did Barr introduce the 'stalker' element to the plot if she wasn't going to do anything with it? Why did charming Roman devote so much time to the ridiculous and alcoholic Amanda? Would any parent (particularly a loving dad like Patrick) be so neglectful that they'd leave their children to wander alone in the countryside for about four hours unnoticed? How had Tamsin managed to make good in Australia if she'd left England with so few qualifications - had she gone to evening school out there or something? And the big secret in the end - though horrid - turned out to be a terrible anticlimax. I couldn't work out why the girls had done what they did - there seemed no reason behind it. And - as other readers have noticed - the plot somewhat fizzled out in the final chapter into inconclusive ramblings.

A fairly pleasant read that kept me occupied for a couple of evenings, and convinced me that (if she had a better subject and plot) Emily Barr could be an excellent writer. But not one to revisit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good enough for a light read or something to read on holiday, 18 April 2014
By 
Katie85 (Northamptonshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out of my Depth (Paperback)
I like Emily Barr's books as they can offer something that is more of an all-round story. They do have something of a familiar theme - someone who has had a childhood trauma ends up coming up against it into adulthood - but this does offer something slightly different as it is told from a few perspectives and the present scenes predominantly take place over one weekend.

Susie lives in France and is a well-respected artist - she has moved on from her schooldays but has remembered a pact she made with her school friends Amanda, Izzy and Tamsin to meet up when they are 32. Although Susie is also looking to show off, the friends have not really seen or spoken to each other since an incident in their final year at school tore them apart and shaped their lives to where they are now.

The characters are decent enough - you come to understand why they have turned out as they have. The story has a good flow it. It is good enough if you want something light or you want a holiday read. But this is not as gritty as some of her other reads, you kind of have the feeling throughout that you know what is coming even if you are not familiar with Barr's books or her writing style. Plus there is a major loose end which I don't recall being resolved (or if it was, it was a one-sentence event that was brushed under the carpet). It's likeable and original enough and you do want to find out exactly what happened, but if you wanted a bit of a challenge as well, you may not get that from this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, 13 Feb. 2014
By 
A. Linton (Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out of my Depth (Kindle Edition)
You know that feeling that you get that a book is strangely familiar - and about halfway through you realise that you must have read it before? At first I thought I must have downloaded the Kindle sample but as it went on I realised I had read the book at some time but I strangely enough I couldn't remember how it ended - the secret the other three are keeping from Tamsin, how all the relationships pan out - what the truth is about the supposed stalker who keeps buying Suzi's paintings? When I reached the actual end I realised why - the truth is that there IS no actual end but book just finishes out of nowhere as if the author just ran out of ideas or had a deadline to meet. I kept clicking my kindle button sure there must be more to follow - an epilogue or something surely? - but no - that was it! (There's no way on earth she originally meant the book to end like this so I assume she either ran out of idea/time/ or enthusiasm!)

It's a shame as this book starts out strongly - which is presumably why I bought it twice - but don't expect any real closure. And if it seems familiar as if you read it before - then you probably have!
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Out of my Depth
Out of my Depth by Emily Barr (Paperback - 28 Jun. 2007)
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