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Thursday, 3 May 2018

#TheKindnessofStrangers @julesmnewman @urbanebooks

About The Kindness of Strangers

An intricate portrayal of love and loss, redemption and revenge which will stay with you long after the final page.' - Anne Coates, bestselling author of the Hannah Weybridge thrillers

Deception abounds in Julie Newman's breath-taking new novel.

Widow Helen is desperate for a perfect family life, and will do everything she can to get what she wants.

A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict Martin is adrift and seemingly without hope - can he ever win back his estranged family?

Pregnant teenager Charley is striking out on her own to create a new life for her unborn child, but her mother Lizzie has other ideas.

When three seemingly disparate lives connect, the past and the present collide to reveal secrets, lies and how far people are willing to go to hide the truth.

Following the gripping and controversial Beware the Cuckoo, Julie Newman's thrilling new novel lifts the lid on the dark past that haunts a seemingly happy household.

My review of The Kindness of Strangers

Wow! This book. Where do I start? It's a fantastic read that lulled me in with it's tales of kindness, grief, and sorrow in the first half of the book, and then completely blew me away in the second half. I found myself racing through the pages, of which turned out to be a dark and slick psychological teaser of a read.

The first half of the book is divided into three sections, each section  dedicated to the three central characters of Helen, Martin, and Charley. Each of these stories is told in first person which I really liked, as it helped me to crawl under their skin, and by the first half of the book I felt as if I knew each of then fairly well. Helen, who is coming to terms with the death of her husband, Robert. Martin, who is suffering from PTSD, and Charley, who finds herself pregnant. I needed to understand these characters, so as to better understand what would happen in the second half of the book. All I will say, is expect the unexpected.

The Kindness of Strangers is such a clever and dark read. It uses the common theme of Kindness and a linking character to explore human nature and our need to survive at all costs. All of the three central characters engaged me and I felt quite differently to each and everyone of them, with my views drastically changing as I made my way through the book. However, Charley I liked from the very beginning to the final pages. A young girl trying to to do her best under the most difficult of circumstances. I had a lot of empathy for her.

Although at first these three stories seem to be  in isolation, the author slowly brings these stories together and characters together, with the most unexpected consequences. What is interesting is that the second half of the book us told in third person narrative, weaving from one character to another, and that gave a completely different spin on events.

The unpredictability of Kindness and its repercussions are beautifully explored within this book. It's a dark and twisted tale which asks the reader many morality based questions. An intricate web of love, deceit, and kindness is slowly weaved as we finally learn the truth. Highly recommended.

The Kindness of Strangers was published by Urbane Publication on the 19th April. It can be found on Amazon here.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advance Reader Copy.

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