Title: The Playdate
Author: Louise Millar
Review: They say making friends as an adult is one of the hardest things you can do. The Playdate takes that premise and raises you a whole bunch of whack job to make you even more paranoid. It is so hard in life learning who you can trust, especially with your children. Most of us shortcut our decision process by using stereotypes and pigeonholes to eliminate and include others in our circle of trust. Unfortunately that means you can dismiss those who would really be there for you in a time of need, and trust those who are working off an agenda that doesn’t put your needs first.
The Playdate delves into the friendships of adult women, alternating perspectives to build to a surprising and creepy ending. I will say the book includes several twists, ones you should be able to see coming, but they only serve to distract you from the ones which will take your breath away. Louise Millar has done an expert job of faking the left only to deliver a knockout punch with her devastating right hook in this thriller.
For me the real message of the book is to spend more time on the decisions in which the answers truly matter. We are all busy people and we are looking for every advantage in making choices. That may be okay for dining options, television viewing, and where to book your holiday; but when it comes to letting people into your circle of intimacy you should step outside of the automated though process and spend some time being a little more objective.
There would probably be a lot less divorce if we didn’t use lust as the main power source for our selections. I am not suggesting we should be completely logical (as that would make for a boring life), but it should play a major role instead of a quiet voice in the back of the room. Playdate works this process into a delightful twist on who your true friends are. A brilliant story.
Quick Review: 4.5 stars out of 5
Why I Read It: English based mystery ( I am English plus Mystery is my favourite genre)
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review
Synopsis: Single mother Callie has come to rely heavily on her best friend Suzy. But Callie suspects Suzy's life isn't as simple as it seems. It's time she pulled away - going back to work is just the first step towards rediscovering her old confidence. So why does she keep putting off telling Suzy about her new job?
Suzy and Callie live close to each other on a typical cramped, anonymous London street. Neighbours seem to move in, and move on, before you have even learned their names. Callie's increased sense of alienation leads her to try to befriend a new resident on her street, Debs. But Debs is anxious, odd. You wouldn't trust her with your child - especially not if you knew anything about her past.
A brilliant and chilling evocation of modern life, The Playdate is a real talking-point book for mothers everywhere.
Author Biography: I am the author of The Playdate, a psychological thriller published by Pan Macmillan in the UK, and Emily Bestler Books in the USA. Before turning to fiction, I spent 20 years working in magazines and newspapers, starting as a freelance sub-editor on entertainment titles such as the NME, Kerrang!, Empire and Smash Hits, before crossing over into women’s magazines and becoming a senior commissioning editor at Marie Claire. In 2006, I left Marie Claire to start a business writing ‘ordinary people’s memoirs – appearing on BBC’s The One Show to promote it – while writing freelance features for Psychologies, the Observer, the Guardian, Stella (the Telegraph), Stylist and Marie Claire, and starting work on The Playdate. I live in London with my husband and children and am currently working on my second novel, Accidents Happen, which will be published in 2013.