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Our Little Secret Paperback – 8 Feb 2018
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PRAISE FOR CLAUDIA CARROLL
‘Claudia Carroll is a master of creating a great story . . . A brilliantly readable, funny novel. Highly recommended’ Fabulous magazine
‘An emotional roller-coaster . . . asks some probing questions about relationships and keeps the reader wondering until the very end’ Irish Independent
‘I’ve just spent a gloriously sunny weekend delving into Tess Taylor and Kate King’s lives and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’m a massive fan of Claudia and her books and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. It was modern, warm, insightful and filled with characters that felt like friends at the end.’ Emma Hannigan
About the Author
Claudia Carroll is a number one bestselling author in Ireland and a top ten bestseller in the UK, selling over 670,000 copies of her paperbacks alone. She was born in Dublin where she still lives and where she has worked extensively both as a theatre and stage actress. She now writes full-time. Her 2013 novel ME AND YOU was shortlisted for the Bord Gais Popular Choice Irish Book Award. Her previous novel ALL SHE EVER WISHED FOR spent 12 weeks at the top of the Irish charts.
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As this wasn't quite what I was expecting, it did take me a short while to settle into the story but that is more a reflection on me than on the book. Once I had understood more about what the book was about though, I was hooked and eagerly reading to find out just what Lauren would get up to next! From the beginning she seemed to be a lovely girl but almost too lovely, almost too perfect. Of course, the reader is helped to come to that conclusion from the prologue and asides from the various narrators in the book - "If I knew then, what I know now", that kind of thing. It was actually scary quite how easily and quickly Lauren managed to inveigle herself into Sarah's life. And it was unnervingly plausible too. Sarah was a lovely character but perhaps a bit too trusting, a bit too willing to help other people out without checking out if what she was being told was the truth. She was so busy of course with her work, her legal aid work and coping with a stroppy teenager, that I could understand why she gratefully accepted the friendship and help Lauren seemed to be offering. I found Darcy, Sarah's daughter, quite irritating at times but then that is perhaps a sign of how well Claudia Carroll has written the teenage character!
There's a definite air of something sinister throughout the book, making me feel very uneasy as I began to realise just to what extent Sarah was being manipulated by Lauren. A much darker tale than the cover would suggest, this book is a real cautionary tale of being careful who you trust and let into your life.
I expected this book to be a typical saga about women whose lives are interconnected and various things that happen to them, but this book was so much darker than I was expecting it to be (serves me right for not reading the synopsis!) Let me tell you though, Claudia Carroll can definitely do darker. She weaves some serious webs of deceit and intrigue in this novel and it was a joy to watch the characters try and unravel them.
Sarah is a great character to read about. She is the kind of person we all want to be. She is good at what she does, she has an amicable relationship with her ex-husband and her daughter loves her. She is also the kind of person who will go out of her way to help people, even if that means putting herself out. Obviously we get to see her suffer the consequences of that in this novel. Daughter Darcy is also a really interesting character to read about. She is at that stage where not everybody takes things she says seriously and she is stuck in a kind of middle ground because of that. She is a very impressionable character and it was a joy to watch her develop in this novel!
And then of course we have Lauren, the girl with more sides to her than we can possibly imagine. I loved reading about the many facets of this character and she really does add so much intrigue to this story and ties the whole thing together.
Every moment of this novel was believable and it was refreshing to have something a little darker that still has a family at heart and the humour that we have come to expect from this author.
I listened to the audiobook of this novel and it was very well narrated, I highly recommend that format!
When Lauren becomes part of Sarah's life that's when things start to go wrong, with her job,her daughter and even her best friend Liz. When Liz tries to tell Sarah time and time again that something is wrong with Lauren, Sarah refuses to believe her and their friendship is over.
I read this book in one sitting, I just had to find out what Lauren was up to. Alternate chapters were told in first person by each of the characters with some chapters in third person. I did find that a bit strange at first but it moved the story along nicely.
Broken relationships, wayward teenagers, lies,betrayal are all within the pages of this book,oh and a really lovely cover picture.
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