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Not That I Could Tell: The page-turning domestic drama Paperback – 5 Apr 2018
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Full of slow-burning intrigue, Strawser's second novel will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies and Jennifer Kitses' Small Hours (Booklist)
[An] engrossing, taut tale (Publisher's Weekly)
How well can you really know your neighbours, when looks can be so deceiving?See all Product description
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Clara,Izzy,Natalie,Randi,Rhoda and Kirstin gather around a fire pit to enjoy a rare child free Saturday night.Glasses in hand,they drink too much and share secrets they wish,perhaps they hadn't.
The single newcomer,the imperfect mother,the new-born parents,the military wife,the almost divorcee.
Come Monday morning,one of them is gone.
During the ensuing police investigation,friendships are tested,and loyalties divided as the women ask themselves whether they should have noticed that their friend and neighbours life wasn't as perfect as it seemed.
The story is narrated in the duel perspectives of Clara who is married to Benny and has two small children Thomas and Maddie.And Izzy who is a newcomer to the neighbourhood,single and works at the local radio station.Clara`s chapters where my favourite parts of the story.Clara had a secret,something that happened in her past and isn't revealed until towards the end of the book.This secret added mystery and intrigue to the story and explained why Clara was so determined to find out what had happened to Kirstin and her young children and why she tried to warn Izzy about her fears for Izzy`s safety.I really liked Natalie`s young daughter Hallie,children have a uncanny knack of seeing things that adults don't and yet no one ever listens to what they are saying.I found Izzy`s self pitying attitude over certain aspects of her life irritating.My favourite parts of her story were the stunning descriptions of the trails where she went hiking and the couple of chapters where she found herself in a life threatening situation.Interspersed throughout the book where italicized chapters by a unknown person,it's not obvious who this person is until towards the end of the book.
This is a riveting story about how Kristin`s disappearance affects the lives and friendships of the other women during and after the investigation.Part domestic drama,part mystery thriller it isn't fast paced but it is a enjoyable,Intreguing read.The characters were vivid and realistic and there was a couple of unexpected twists towards the end of the story.This is the first book that I have read by this author and it most definitely won't be my last.
The writing is engaging, pulling the reader into the story and allowing them to wonder what has happened to Kristin and her children. Although she doesn’t really appear, she is a fully formed character, as things are revealed about her by the police that wasn’t apparent to her friends. This allows the reader to care more about her and to be more invested in her disappearance.
This is a slow burn of a novel. There are no action sequences, bloody murder scenes or fast paced sections. It is this slow burn that builds the suspense. The reader is always aware that things are not as they seem. As the reality of the situation is revealed the reader is compelled along with Clara to seek out the conclusion to Kristen’s tale.
All of the characters are well drawn. There is Clara, determined to find out what happened to her friend, to figure out what caused her disappearance. Izzy is a completely different character. Where Clara is happily married, Izzy is desperately sad at her single state. Her state of mind is such that, whilst it did grate slightly, is needed for the progression of the story. Then there is Paul, the estranged husband of Kristen, who impinges on the story in many ways.
It is more than just Kristen’s tale. This is a novel about the secrets that any respectable house can hold. It is a story of how rumours can spread rapidly, impinging on lifes in a number of ways. It is a tale that shows that everyone is not always as they seem and people shouldn’t be taken on face value, and that we don’t always know people as well as we think we do.
I throughly enjoyed Not That I Could Tell. I’ll be looking out for more from Jessica Strawser in the future.
The book takes a lot of time with its story. Although there are six women, only two are in focus: Clara and Izzy. Clara also has two small children and leads a harmonious marriage. Izzy is single and has fled to a small town due to personal problems.
This book is in its style close to "Big Little Lies". It's not so much a thriller, not a all a psycho thriller. It is a domestic drama. It's about the two women and how they handle a girlfriend's disappearance. The slow narration let me deeply immerse myself as a reader in both lives and easily empathize with them. The people seemed very real to me with all their mistakes. I was quickly drawn into the story and I could imagine that I could be friends with these women, too.
Although I enjoyed the slow and very sensitive narrative, I think that the book would have done a bit of streamlining. A little more pace could not have hurt. It was also a bit too much detailed description of an everyday life with small children for my taste. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter left me a bit helpless. But that's complaining at a high level. Jessica Strawser wrote a very well written and constructed story and I enjoyed reading it.
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