Other People’s Houses
Harper Collins Australia
A stunningly tense, page-turning debut for all fans of The Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train The perfect house. The perfect family. Too good to be true.
Kate Webb still grieves for her young son, ten years after his loss. She spends her weekends hungover, attending open houses on Sydney’s wealthy north shore and imagining the lives of the people who live there.
Then Kate visits the Harding house – the perfect house with, it seems, the perfect family. A photograph captures a kind-looking man, a beautiful woman she once knew from university days, and a boy – a boy that for one heartbreaking moment she believes is her own son.
When her curiosity turns to obsession, she uncovers the cracks that lie beneath a glossy facade of perfection, sordid truths she could never have imagined.
I don’t think I have come across such a unique narrator and unique plot; a mostly functioning alcoholic whose life is coloured with the raw grief of loss. Kate Webb is the most unreliable narrator I have come across yet her world is credible, the self-destructive behaviours understandable as her grief transcends her weak desire to function and exist in the world.
But this is not just a book about alcoholism and grief. Without giving away too much, this is a book about domestic violence in its worse form, its is about murders and psychopaths, about control, about relationships, about the glimmer of hope that just might sustain; it is a read where the nothing is as it seems.
And it is a read that will keep you up all night until you have discovered the truths. This is a compelling read and I will admit to shedding a silent tear as I finished this.