Chicklit Club
 

ANNABEL KANTARIA

 

Coming Home (2015)

 

Evie Stevens has managed to forge a life for herself in Dubai away from the painful memories of her childhood in England and the demands of her mother. But with news of her father's unexpected death, Evie returns home. Her mother appears to be coping remarkably well, plus Evie's on hand to help her manage, not least by sorting through all of his things. And it's in doing so that Evie comes across some long-buried secrets. But it's not only Evie's father who was keeping secrets, Evie's mother has been too. Although the first quarter of the novel is a bit slow as Annabel Kantaria builds up the story and the family history, nothing prepares you for the drama and menace that emerges in the book. There are twist and turns aplenty and although the majority of the early ones are fairly easy to see coming - in fact sometimes you have to wonder at Evie's ignorance - I had the impression that Kantaria somewhat plays with the reader by making them feel as if they know what's happening and where the story's going but then throwing in some bigger twists that you can't see coming. She sort of reels you in and then knocks you sideways. Even on the final page, Kantaria has one last, crucial twist. Although I enjoyed the uncertainty Kantaria creates, at times I felt there was a bit too much ambiguity especially over Evie's mother. There is romance in the novel but it inevitably takes a back seat given the focus of the book which was a slight shame and the central relationship seemed a bit too predictable from the get-go. However, I loved that Kantaria puts a different spin on the domestic thriller - not that between lovers but between a family. It's an interesting read but just needed a bit more exploration. (JC)

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