Julia Crouch


"...I will be exploring Crouch’s next offering to see how she progresses as a writer."


Polly is Rose's oldest friend. So when she calls with the news that her husband has died, Rose doesn't think twice about inviting her to stay. She'd do anything for Polly; it's always been that way.

Polly has never been one to conform - it's one of the qualities Rose admires in her - and from the moment she and her two small boys arrive on Rose's doorstep, it's obvious that she is not the typical grieving widow. But the longer Polly stays, the more Rose wonders how well she really knows her. She can't help wondering too whether her presence has anything to do with Rose's growing sense that she's losing her hold on her family and home. As Rose's meticulously constructed world is picked apart at the seams, one thing becomes clear; once Polly is in, it's very hard to get her out again.

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Crouch's debut novel had some great aspects to it, but also some parts that in my opinion were let down by fussy characters that seemed more fitting in a cookery or home making novel than a pyschological novel. Rose, the main character, was lacking in substance and became rather irritating in her role as 'mother earth' which was a shame as the plot itself was thought provoking and gripping. I felt that Rose was portrayed as whiter than white, but as the layers were revealed it became apparent there was more to her, as indeed with all the characters, but it was done in such a way that little or no empathy was able to be given them. Polly was obviously weaving a web of lies and destruction but as the story was being told only from the viewpoint of Rose, how she exactly did this was not clear. For me, it would have been more interesting to have been given Polly's point of view as well. However, the great plot certainly sustained my interest and I will be exploring Crouch's next offering to see how she progresses as a writer.

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