|The Borough Press|
28 April 2022
My thanks to the publisher and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book
A NICE, NORMAL HOUSE
Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant.
A NICE, NORMAL HUSBAND
Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood.
A NICE, NORMAL LIFE
If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue...
📖 My Review..
Linda Hammett and her husband Terry live a mundane sort of life which Linda brightens up by reading the glossy catalogues which are being delivered to Rebecca Finch the former occupier of their house. Linda is socially awkward and finds much comfort in living her life vicariously especially when she becomes somewhat obsessed with Rebecca and wonders if there is more to life than monotonous housework and her part-time job at the charity shop. However, living this quiet suburban life is not all is seems, especially when news breaks of a serial killer who is specifically targeting young women. That there is also some ambiguity in Linda's life becomes evident as the story progresses especially as her rather troubled past is gradually revealed.
What I love about Joanna Cannon's writing is her uncanny ability to get right into the heart and soul of her characters and Linda is very much at the centre of the story. The narration throughout has a singular voice, I could hear it, very clearly, in my head, and that voice is very much Linda's, her unique perspective on what is happening around her is what makes this such a fascinating story and one I won't spoil by giving away any more details.
Cleverly written and compellingly different, with a very tidy ending which made my jaw drop, there is no doubt that A Tidy Ending is Joanna Cannon writing at her perceptive and absolute best.
🍪 Best Read with..a packet of Linda's favourite Jaffa cakes
About the Author
Joanna Cannon’s first two novels, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Three Things about Elsie, were both Sunday Times bestsellers and Richard and Judy picks. She is a regular panellist on radio, TV and at literary festivals across the country. Her writing has appeared in the Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail and the Guardian, amongst others. Joanna left school at fifteen with one O-level and worked her way through many different jobs before returning to school in her thirties and qualifying as a doctor in her forties. Her work as a psychiatrist and interest in people on the fringes of society continue to inspire her writing.
Twitter @JoannaCannon #ATidyEnding