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The Playground: A Novel

The Playground: A Novel

Scritto da Jane Shemilt

Narrato da Elizabeth Knowelden


The Playground: A Novel

Scritto da Jane Shemilt

Narrato da Elizabeth Knowelden

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (17 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
9 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Dec 30, 2019
ISBN:
9780062939449
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

Big Little Lies meets Lord of The Flies in this electrifyingly twisty follow-up to Jane Shemilt's breakout debut The Daughter.

Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout. 

There's Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there's Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to. 

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.

The story twists and then twists again while the three families desperately search for answers. It's only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world.

But has this knowledge come too late?

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Dec 30, 2019
ISBN:
9780062939449
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

While working full time as a physician, Jane Shemilt received an M.A. in creative writing. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit award and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize for The Daughter, her first novel. She and her husband, a professor of neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol, England.


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3.5
17 valutazioni / 10 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Excellent book. Interesting twists.
  • (3/5)
    This is a story about three dysfunctional families who are connected by a tutoring class for dyslexia which a child from each family attends. There are clues that tell us disaster is coming so no surprise when it strikes. Even though it's predictable, it's a quick read. Maybe OK for a day by the pool or on the beach.
  • (3/5)
    Three very different couples become close friends through their children. Over the summer the children are neglected as the lives of the adults become more entangled and messy. This leads to a tragic event. The story has some nice twists although I think she gets a few too many balls in the air by the end. This book was given to me through Library Thing.
  • (4/5)
    Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to receive this book through LT's Early Reviewers. I am vey very grateful to them, Jane Shemilt, William Morror Paperbacks and anyone who had a hand in getting me this book in exchange for an honest review.I read this book in less than 24 hours. I probably would have read straight through until morning, if I had not had an appointment and needed sleep.Shemilt did an amazing job building this world. All charaters were extremely fleshed out, including the children, which is rare to see in literature. We wonder two things during the entire book. 1. Who is watching the children? 2. Who needs to be watched more, the children or the adults?I had a heavy sense of dread and was extremely tense for the entire book. It seemed like anything could happen; and when it did, I wondered if something worse would happen next time (which sometimes did). It is extremely rare that suspense/mystery novels do this to me, so KUDOS!What dropped it from a 5-star to a 4-star for me was the "twist." I figured it out early on and was disappointed to see that I was correct. One suggestion I have when the book actually does come out is to change the promotional tag. I don't want to spoil for those that haven't read and/or seen the tag, but I am talking about the one that says "'______' meets 'Big Little Lies.'" I feel comfortable saying BLL as, it is an accurate description, but does not actually spoil anything for the reader, whereas the other literary work gives away the surprise. Just a thought!Thanks again for the great read!
  • (2/5)
    Three families from different backgrounds come together as their children are all in the same tutoring group. The adults are so self-involved that they don’t pay attention to the children until tragedy strikes. At that point their lives unravel and we learn the truth of what really went on that summer.A lot of characters, and a lot of slow moments made it almost difficult to read. I was confused and the characters were not likable, unfortunately. After said tragedy, the story picks up and becomes somewhat more thrilling. I liked the ending, but overall not a book that I enjoyed.
  • (4/5)
    This could have been a 4 star read, I read it in 3 days (once I got started), it was compelling enough to where I wanted to get back to reading it as soon as I could. The reasons for 3.5 stars is too many characters, it was hard to keeping track of them, I had to think about who this person was when they were involved in the story. Additional background on the adults and how they became friends so quickly; I wasn't sure how the women even met. There is a trend I'm noticing with recent books, there are too many social issues being addressed; focusing on one issue would have a greater impact. It has all the ingredients for a good psychological thriller, shocking situations, and twists that keeps the story interesting. I would recommend to friends as a fast, enjoyable read. (my mind kept thinking of 'The Bad Seed')
  • (4/5)
    The story revolves around three families brought together by an after-school tutoring program. At first the kids are pretty unhappy, but they form a little unit right away despite varying ages and backgrounds. Something else is going on though and it becomes clear that Izzy has become their leader though more than just being the oldest. She is one creepy kid. Her parts of the children’s POV interludes are ominous. The parents are oblivious though. They all have their own problems and issues and Eve & Eric’s idyllic walled garden gives the illusion of safety. In terms of characters, they’re all pretty flawed and none apart from Grace and sometimes Melissa, made me at all sympathetic. In some ways it works, but I felt there was a little too much attention paid here. It took the pot off the boil in terms of plot. Martin is a bore who can’t get out of his own way, but has enough surface charm to hook Eve into an affair. Paul is creepy and his locked door sessions with Izzy are worrying. Melly (oy vey what a name) is too insecure and traumatized to challenge Paul about them or to talk to the kid or anyone about her. Maddening, but understandable. Eric comes off a little dull. Eve herself tries too hard. Everyone ignores the fact that Izzy is basically a horrible kid. She is calculatedly cruel, physically tortures other kids and a manipulative game-player. The kid’s cuts take the adults WAY too long to notice. Before I got to the end I noted in my book journal - “Did Izzy abduct Sorrell to frame her dad? Or is she just twisted?” Well, yeah.
  • (5/5)
    A lot of good twists n turns in this one
  • (3/5)
    Three very different couples living in London become connected, first through their children, then to each other. The parents are self-absorbed, careless, neglectful of their children, and mostly unlikable. A tragedy midway through the book, domestic abuse, and adultery shuffle the relationships. Shemilt kept me reading, even though I nearly abandoned this book, because the story is compulsively readable and she is such a good writer. If you like twisty thrillers about domestic life that grapple with big issues, you will like this.
  • (3/5)
    A new friendship between three sets of parents and six children develops when one child in each family takes part in tutoring for dyslexia. To say these families are different is putting it mildly. We have:-Eve, living well on her trust fund and her husband Eric, a landscaper. They live in a large but messy house with their three children Eve believes that children shouldn't lead structured lives and should be free to play without parental interference.-Melissa is an interior decorator who lives her life very strictly and tries her best to stay out of Paul's way. Paul is an abuser to his wife but very close to their daughter Izzy.-Grace and Martin have two children. She is from Zimbabwe and works to keep the family fed and taken care of. He is an author who has had one big book and appears to be having a major writer's block as he tries and fails on his second book. Grace is also a writer but doesn't have time or energy to write after her long days at work.Over the course of the summer, the six adults all become closer and even go to Greece on vacation. The unsupervised children also grow close but what is really going on with the kids. Is it simple hide and seek or is there something much more sinister going on? The story twists and turns while the three families search for answers. It’s only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world while they weren't paying attention.Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.