cover197354-mediumFrom Goodreads: ” A new thought-provoking novel exploring the complexity of motherhood and all that connects and disconnects us.

You think you know her…but look a little closer.

She is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy, and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess.

Then one moment changes everything.

Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface—and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself. The truth can’t come soon enough.

My Review

This was a brilliant audiobook, a domestic drama by Sarah Vaughan. I loved her legal  thriller, Anatomy of Scandal and was thrilled when the ebook was offered to me as a NetGalley widget. However when I listened to the NetGalley audio sample recently, I loved it and requested the audiobook, as I knew I’d enjoy it even more in that format and I was not disappointed!

The story is mostly told by Liz, a doctor working in A&E paediatrics in an NHS Hospital and Jess, an old friend and stay home mother of three children, plus Ed, Jess’ husband. Further on into the story there are points of view from other characters.

Liz and Jess they first met at antenatal classes, but hadn’t seen each other for months, mostly due to Liz’s work commitments. They meet each other again in very surprising circumstances, when Jess brings in her fractious baby to A&E and Liz really wants to believe the best of her friend and not the worst! Following hospital procedure she has to call in social services and the police, much to Jess’ horror!

What a dilemma, but what a fantastic story, that gripped from the start and kept me hooked all the way through it’s 10 Hours, 52 Minutes, 33 Seconds! I was desperate to find out what really happened to Jess’ baby.

There were flashbacks from when Liz and Jess first met, and other moments  through their shared history with other families in their friendship group. I loved the slow dissection of their lives, exploring the theme of mental health, particularly post natal mental health.

I don’t normally enjoy domestic dramas, normally because the one’s I’ve read in the past don’t have any likeable characters. Fortunately the characters in this books were more likeable which made it such a powerful audiobook! Whilst listening I kept thinking back to when I was a new Mum and how scary everything was and hard it was to open up to anyone about those fears. I could really sympathise with Jess. most of the time, but also really felt for Liz.

There were four narrators for this audiobook, Sophie Roberts, Esther Wane, Elliot Fitzpatrick, and Sarah Feathers. All these narrators were new-to-me even though they’ve all narrated audiobooks before. I really enjoyed their portrayals of the different characters and would definitely listen to more audiobooks read by any of them.

This book really does confirm to me that Sarah Vaughan is definitely an must read/listen author for me! I highly recommend this one if you enjoy contemporary domestic dramas, exploring mental health themes.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Audio UK for my digital copy via the NetGalley app.