Beneath the Surface – Fiona Neill

Over the Easter break I was lucky enough to receive an email from the lovely people at Michael Joseph offering me an advance copy of Fiona Neills new book, Beneath the surface.

Everyone is talking about Grace Vermuyden’s family. Once it was for all the right reasons. Now it’s for all the wrong ones

I enjoyed her previous two books, The betrayals and The good girl so I went into this book with high hopes.

Whilst the story is about Grace and Lily, their mother daughter relationship and Graces past – it felt like it was more about Mia. Even Patrick, Graces husband felt like a non character. Lily is a top student, her mums confident she’ll go to Cambridge next year, shes smart, and dedicated and is going to have the life Grace never had. By contrast Mia is almost a problem child, questioning and very open, blunt even, and has struggles at school. Shes also superstitious and a little scared that the myths of the fens are real.

The background is that the family moved to a new home in the fens because of money problems, into a new build thats full of damp. Grace thinks the builders are fixing it, and Patrick is finding the money from his brother. The girls are in the garage when Mia finds a pregnancy test, which Lily takes responsibility for but when Lily has a seizure at school, unexpectedly Mia wonders if she should tell everyone her sisters secret.

The book runs slowly building up information, the more we learn of Graces past the more you understand her behaviour as a parent. Its easy to understand Lily aswell, we’ve all been teenagers and needed to be our own person, found a first love.

I really enjoyed the book, It created questions that I needed answered. It had characters that were real, and understandable – and right down to the last page I was gripped. I would have liked a final chapter, I feel like we’re missing a wrap up, and it makes me feel a little cheated!

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