Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Precious Thing - Colette McBeth

About the book...
Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?

Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever. 

They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara's life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes. 

Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you've shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.

About the author...
Colette started her career as a trainee reporter at The Journal in Newcastle before moving to the BBC where she was a news correspondent for 10 years.

She has reported on the One, Six and Ten O’Clock News and her record for talking live on air is 45 minutes non-stop. Throughout that time she promised herself she would write the story that had been swimming around in her head since she left university. In January 2011 she enrolled on the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course and began writing Precious Thing, finishing it on maternity leave with her third child.

Colette lives in West London with her husband and children and is currently writing her second novel. whilst she dreams of being beside the seaside

My thoughts...
I received a copy of this book from Headline via Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.  

I read this book in just three sittings, the latter making me almost late for work. I read most of it the night before and got up early the next day as I just had to finish the last 70 pages before I left for work.

A clear ten days after finishing this novel and having moved on and read a further two books I'm still talking about this one.  It has left a lasting impression. I was totally engaged with all the characters and felt quite numb when it ended.  There are plenty of twists, turns and surprises.  One sign of a good book is when I internally bargain with myself 'I'll just read till the end of this chapter then turn off the light' - oops I've started another and so the internal bargaining goes on! I turned the pages at a rate of knots and only put it down with 70 pages to go because I was home alone and had work the next morning, it was 2am! 

At school I'm sure most of us had a best friend who we'd share secrets with knowing they'd never reveal them and let us down - right?  Rachel and Clara are just the same, Clara takes new girl Rachel under her wing, they bond, sharing everything, promising always to be friends.  Life alters for both of them and twenty years later Rachel appears the stronger of the two with a good career and relationship on the go whilst Clara has had problems and seems more than a little unreliable and flaky and then out of the blue disappears.

This book is about friendships and relationships, both good and bad, insecurities both real and imagined.  So many pages turned and I was inwardly hoping and expecting a particular outcome and author Colette McBeth delivered another twist.  This book doesn't end three chapters from the end but leaves you guessing right up until the final page. Some things when revealed seem like they should have been obvious but others were like a bolt from the blue. This book was a thrilling read, with many heart racing moments. It was so cleverly written, purposefully putting the reader on the wrong foot thinking one thing only for the outcome to be something totally different. It does beg the questions 'who can you trust?' 'Do we ever really KNOW someone?' 

When I read the final page I closed the book and just sat staring ahead muttering WOW! 

I'll say no more but this is one book I'd highly recommend and have recommended already.

I gave this book 5/5 stars

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