To Dare by Jemma Wayne
Released: 1st July 2020
Publisher: Legend Press
Genre: Psychological thriller
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Veronica and her wealthy husband George are unpacking boxes, hoping a fresh start in their newly refurbished Victorian terrace will help them heal from a recent trauma.
Next door, Simone returns to her neglected council flat. Miserable and trapped, she struggles to take care of her children under the watch of her controlling husband Terry.
When childhood friend Sarah re-enters Veronica’s life, things are thrown even further off balance. As tensions in their own lives rise, the painful memory that binds them threatens to spill into their present.
Three lives collide in this story of family, inequality and revenge.
'Tense, dark and so real as to be almost unbearable, this novel is utterly compelling.' Rosamund Lupton, international bestselling author of Sister and Three Hours
'Wayne weaves a book that is at once engrossing and an exploration of what it means to be a woman, a moral person, a parent, and a neighbour.' Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days and Harmless Like You
'To Dare is a vivid, poignant, and compelling read; Jemma Wayne skilfully weaves her narrative threads tighter and tighter as the story moves towards its nerve-jangling conclusion. I loved it - I couldn't put it down!' Saskia Sarginson
'A five star novel by one of our best writers. I was gripped.' Louis de Bernières, author of the international bestseller Captain Corelli's Mandolin
I'll be completely honest here - this review request appeared in my inbox when I was fully booked.
I have been working with the lovely folks at Legend Press for a long while now and they always release incredible books. I had seen pictures of this novel on social media and heard good things, so I recognised the title when the email came through.
I found myself replying and begging to be part of the tour, wondering how I'd fit it in but so excited to be getting a sneak peek at what I'm sure you'll agree is an intriguing blurb.
When it arrived, needless to say I pretty much dove straight in and, let me tell you, I was hooked from the first page. The three characters whose chapters alternate through the narrative are so different that I wondered if it might be jarring within one story. The way the women described their interactions and their lives, though, were so beautifully strung together that it just became a wonderfully eclectic plot with so much richness in the writing.
There were parts of the novel that I found difficult to read, as there are themes of domestic abuse and family problems within the story. Having said that, Jemma was able to use the different viewpoints to add a flow to the chapters and show how all of the women were trying to understand and communicate with each other.
I'm so glad that I made time for this novel, and if you enjoy either Jemma Wayne's other work (which I'm now keen to pick up) or domestic thrillers overall then please read this book. Elements of it reminded me of The Bass Rock (Evie Wyld) and Little Friends (Jane Shemilt) both of which I adored. I'm always a fan of a dark, dynamic family based thriller and this is one of the best I've read this year.
Thanks so much to Legend Press for sending me a copy for review and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour. Check out what other bloggers are saying below, and see the buy links above for more info: