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The Playdate Paperback – 26 Apr 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330545000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330545006
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'I started reading and couldn't stop . . . a must-read that will tap into every mother's primal fears' Sophie Hannah

'A well-paced psychological thriller with more than a hint of Minette Walters about it' Sunday Express

'A thought provoking, taut and suspenseful thriller that you won't forget in a hurry.' Easy Living

‘Millar is a genius at capturing the complicated emotions of parenthood, and her taut, suspenseful plot makes this an unputdownable read’ MARIE CLAIRE



‘This compelling and impressive debut is told from the point of view of all three women, and the reader’s sympathy shifts constantly as the story becomes more creepy and unsettling when layers of intrigue and manipulation are slowly revealed’ GUARDIAN

‘Millar exposes brilliantly the dilemma of working mums and clearly has a lot of sympathy for a situation that seems loaded against them . . . perceptive and well-written, The Playdate is utterly compelling and a sure-fire winner’ RED

‘British author Millar’s engrossing debut offers an unsettling, realistic view of friendships, gossip, and loneliness… What starts as a quiet story about neighbors soon builds into a gripping psychological thriller’

Book Description

You leave your kids with a friend. Everyone does it. Until the day it goes wrong.

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By C. Bannister TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 May 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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By Jood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
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