Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Haven’t They Grown by Sophie Hannah. Huge thanks to Jenny Platt for the blog tour invite and for my review copy of the book.
What’s the book about?
All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.
Just because she knows that her former best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora Braid for twelve years.
But she can’t resist. She parks outside Flora’s house and watches from across the road as Flora and her children, Thomas and Emily, step out of the car. Except…
There’s something terribly wrong.
Flora looks the same, only older – just as Beth would have expected. It’s the children that are the problem. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily Braid were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then. They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Beth hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.
They are no taller, no older.
Why haven’t they grown?
I have a lot to thank Sophie Hannah for. Not only has she written another brilliantly complex and twisty plot that kept me guessing (wrongly!!!) throughout but she has introduced me to the pleasures of Rubis! At one point in the narrative one of the characters offers Beth and her daughter Zannah a glass of Rubis so, me being me, I had to check out what it was. And when I saw that it was a mix of the flavours of red wine and chocolate I just had to order some. So now I’m not only a huge Sophie Hannah fan, but I’m a Rubis lover too! A winning combination if ever there was one!
But back to Haven’t They Grown and the premise of this book captured my interest as soon as I heard about it. How the hell can someone’s children not have grown in 12 years?! They look the same, have the same names and are obviously the children that Flora, Beth’s Ex best friend, had from when they were close. But how?! And boy, did I have some weird and wonderful theories about how these two children had remained the same for the past 12 years but I was way off! And it’s not as if the plot uses a cop out to explain towards the end. Everything comes together flawlessly and the reasons behind the mystery are unraveled perfectly with a real punch of believability.
Sophie Hannah has been a huge favourite of mine since I read the first book in her Culver Valley series, Little Face, and she always manages to shock and surprise me with her brilliant characters and their twisty lives. I loved the relationship Beth had with her family especially her teenage daughter Zannah and that added a real depth of understanding of why she was like a dog with a bone after her encounter with Thomas and Emily. Her children have matured and are developing into the adults they will become so it’s no wonder she can’t leave it when her old friend hasn’t got that same connection to her children. Haven’t They Grown expertly builds the tension and suspense until the perfect denouement and I loved every single page! It’s a sophisticated and intelligent read from start to finish. And I defy anyone to actually guess the plot twists!
Highly recommended by me!
Meet the author
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime fiction writer, translated into 49 languages and published in 51 countries. Her psychological thriller The Carrier won the Specsavers National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year in 2013. Sophie is the author of the bestselling Poirot continuation mysteries. The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives have been adapted for television as Case Sensitive, starring Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd. Sophie is also a bestselling poet who has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE and A-level. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. She lives in Cambridge with her family.