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on 22 September 2013
Having read a couple of Suzanne Bugler's novels previously, I knew what to expect from her writing. Once again, it was a very dark and edgy novel, with one scene in particular that completely shocked me as it was something I wasn't expecting. The deterioration of Jane in her supposed idyllic country house is well written by Bugler as everything around Jane, starts to fall apart. A good read but don't expect too many light hearted moments.
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on 8 June 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed this, as I have Suzanne Bugler`s other books. Her writing style is polished and lean. I got through this in 2 days. I thought Jane`s husband was painted as somewhat blameless, though he could have made more of an effort to take time off work when it mattered, for his family. I loved the villains Melanie and Max, expertly painted :)
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on 22 March 2013
I loved this book! like the other books by this author I have read, not a lot is happening on the surface, but boy, the way Ms Bugler discribes the feelings of the family and mainly of Jane, makes this riviting reading. It about a family who upsticks and move to the county, mainly due to the Mum believing that life will be so much better for her family.....a typical case of the grass is always greener. Not so for poor Jane.

I dont want to spoil the story line, but if you are a fan of this genre of drama you will eat this up. Superb writing, roll on the next offering from Suzanne Bugler, she can do no wrong (in my book!)
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on 25 May 2013
A very good read,got very involved with this family and really cared about what happened to them,would love a sequel to this book just to see how their lives worked out.Would recommend this book and also the others by this author.
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on 21 March 2014
I was sufficiently engaged to read this book to the end.
Well written and an honest insightful review of the difficulties faced when moving from the city to the country.
However..it was overwhelmingly depressing !
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on 22 April 2013
Had never come accross this author before. Having read 'The Safest Place', I will read Ms Bugler's other novels; that is when I have recovered from this one!! For the past week I have been very tired as a result of reading until at least 2am because I couldn't find the willpower to not read another chapter. I think most sexes would find it hard not to equate with this story on some level. This is the scary bit and what makes it such a compelling read. I felt so frustrated with Jane but with a little admiration for sticking to her selfish 'dream'. As a result she deserved what she got. I have given this book 5 stars, but maybe should have given it 4 because it kept me awake into the night!!! Buy it.
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The Safest Place was published by Pan Macmillan on 14 March 2013 and is Suzanne Bugler's third adult novel.

The central theme running through this story is that 'the grass is not always greener', although Jane Berry does her very best to convince herself and everyone else that she comes into contact with that by moving her
family out of London and into the countryside, she really has found happiness. The story is narrated by Jane, a forty-something mother of two, married to David and now a stay-at-home-Mum. Jane and David had a great life before the kids came along, based in central London, working in the magazine publishing industry, close to the shops, the best places to eat and the theatres, life was good. They were delighted when the children came along, but life changed. The house seemed to be smaller, Jane no longer went to work, the pressure to make sure that the children had the best of everything, including the best education became overpowering and engulfed their lives. It was seeing their son Sam become a victim of bullying and retreat into himself that was the final straw for Jane. Her mission was to find her family the perfect home - the safest place - away from the pressure of London, away from the rough local schools. Somewhere where the family could live in peace. OK, so David will face hours of commuting, maybe Jane and the children won't see him as much as they would like, but surely coming home to the peaceful and tranquil village that they move to will be better all round than the noise and the dirt and the pressure of London? Won't it???

The Safest Place is narrated by Jane, some would say that she is a typical unreliable narrator, that she does her best to convince the reader that every action that she took during this story was for the benefit of her family. Looking a little deeper, it is clear that Jane is an incredibly truthful narrator, she is telling her story as it really was, and not as she wanted and even prayed for it to turn out. Jane is truthful and honest and acutely aware of her failings.

Suzanne Bugler has created an ordinary world, yet her extraordinary writing transforms the everyday happenings into a dark, forbidding story that builds intensely page by page until the unthinkable happens. Jane, despite her constant justification for her behaviour, is an honest, if unpleasant character whose life goes completely out of control once she has got her wish and the family move to the country. The author draws characters with ease, from the flighty and somewhat dangerous new friend Melanie, to the shy and tormented son Sam. David the husband is a shadowy figure throughout the story, the reader never really gets to find out just what goes on in his mind, he is portrayed as a sad, almost downtrodden guy who just wants to please everyone.

There is something about this dark story about ordinary, everyday people that is utterly compelling and very hard to put down. I found myself almost screaming at Jane at time, her behaviour is so frustrating and the reader knows that things are just not going to work out, even if the character pretends not to. The shock though, for the reader, is that the incident that finally breaks Jane is totally unexpected, and never quite resolved.

This is a short novel at just over 300 pages and becomes more compelling as each page is turned. Most certainly my favourite book by Suzanne Bugler yet
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on 22 December 2015
I found this book dark and rather bleak. The central character is a foolish woman who is so lacking in self awareness and empathy that she creates a very destructive situation. For me the story lacked credibility and I was continually frustrated with the behaviour of the main character. To be fair to the writer, she certainly brings across the angst and pain experienced by the 'wronged wife'. The book is generally well written but not one I would read again..
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on 4 May 2013
This book is a brilliant read

The Safest Place is well written and the idea for the story was a breath of fresh air

I found Suzanne Bugler's style of writing was so descriptive that I felt I was there with her

As Jane narrates the story the tension she builds up will keep you reading well after midnight

I will certainly recommend this book to friends and family

Thank you to the author for such a great book
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on 2 August 2015
This started out as a promising book - a new life that was obviously about to go horribly wrong. But, frustratingly, an interesting situation and some good characters were spoiled by the narrator Jane who never seemed to learn from her mistakes or understand anyone else's point of view. Her reactions to each new crisis seemed to be to blame someone else or reach for a bottle of wine.
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