2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dark, bleak, depressing but kind of brilliant,
This review is from: The Safest Place (Paperback)
I've just finished reading this book and I feel exhausted. It's not exactly an enjoyable experience, more of a masochistic exercise. But it's very well written and in a miserable, nerve-wracking way, it's very good.
Jane badgers her husband David into buying a dream house in the country, and the family ups sticks and moves from London to their West Country idyll. All this is very well described and tension builds almost imperceptibly. At first Jane is smug. She invites people down so she can show off the family's wonderful new life. But David is spending five hours a day commuting, making friends is not so easy when you live a long way from anywhere, and soon the cracks begin to show.
Jane's relationship with her new friend Melanie, a woman with a more laid-back attitude to parenting is plausible and fantastically well described. Melanie is completely believable, in fact of all the characters in the book she is probably the most real.
This is less a story about Jane and more about her teenage son Sam and its Sam's story, the fact that he does not really have a safe place, that is so harrowing.
I didn't enjoy it, but it's completely compelling and rather brilliant. Suzanne Bugler is a fantastic writer. Recommended but only if you're feeling very buoyant to start with.