Hello and welcome to the final day of the blog tour for Who We Were by B.M. Carroll. Huge thanks to Viper Books for the invite onto the tour and my review copy of the book.
A KILLER TWENTY-YEAR REUNION.
AND YOU’RE INVITED…
Twenty years after they went their separate ways, friends and enemies are coming together for their school reunion. Katy, who is desperate to show that she’s no longer the shy wallflower. Annabel, who ruled the school until a spectacular fall from grace. Zach, popular and cruel, but who says he’s a changed man. And Robbie, always the victim, who never stood a chance.
As the reunion nears, a terrible event that binds the group together will resurface. Because someone is still holding a grudge, and will stop at nothing to reveal their darkest secrets…
Class of 1983-Joanne Shreeve
Well it’s obvious straight away that I didn’t have a great time at high school with my typically Norfolk surname in an Academy just south of Aberdeen. Being English in a Scottish school probably wouldn’t have been too bad for an attractive, outgoing, gregarious teenager but unfortunately I was a shy bookworm with bad teeth and horrendously curly hair! So I have to say that high school wasn’t my most favourite period in my life so far! Not quite clever enough, pretty enough, popular enough, sporty enough…the list is endless. But it did the job, it was a good school and gave me the qualifications I needed to go off to university where I met The Grumpy Scotsman and of course the rest is history! Reading Who We Were made me think about my own school reunion-the one that I didn’t go to as I didn’t want to put myself through those memories again with people who probably didn’t remember things quite the same way I did. I was lucky enough to have some very good friends though who were there for me when my life fell apart when I was 17 and are still in my life now. Good memories were made there too so it wasn’t all bad-trips to France, country dancing for the Christmas parties, writing erotic fiction to pass around the common room, being thin…!! If I had to identify with any of the characters within this book I would have to say that it would be Brigette, the one who no-one really remembers but who has gone on to live her life to the fullest and happiest she possibly could with those she loved…
They say that schooldays are the best days of your life but I think that depends on who you are and where you went to school! And it’s always interesting to speak to others about the past as everyone always remembers things slightly differently depending on “who” they were at school. It’s very easy to categorise students in a “Breakfast Club” manner but I suspect many of us probably fall in between those labels. I’m always fascinated by how we change once out in the adult world so as soon as I saw the blurb for Who We Were, I knew it was a book for me and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint!
When Katy decides to arrange a class reunion to celebrate 20 years of their class leaving school, it very quickly becomes obvious that someone isn’t as keen to meet up with their old classmates as others are. Katy is now a teacher herself and has undergone some physical transformations that have given her more self confidence but she still remembers her days as a shy and retiring wallflower. Her best friend Luke isn’t living the life he expected but returning to his home town will be quite an eye opener for him. Annabelle and Grace are still best friends although Grace is still in Annabelles shadow and in awe of her best friend even though Annabelle is having family problems. Melissa is a successful businesswoman but unhappy in her personal life whereas Zach is living his best life but still feels guilty about the teenager he once was. So with all these personal issues it’s no wonder that the reunion isn’t going to be as easily planned as Katy is expecting. But things go from bad to worse when nasty messages are sent out. Could it be Robbie who was bullied because of his epilepsy and is still suffering even now from those childhood memories? Once everyone is back together, secrets and lies collide in a shocking and disturbing storyline.
Who We Were is a gripping domestic style psychological thriller that challenges those “happy” school-day memories. There is a great mix of characters here, all of whom all well drawn and relatable in a realistically plotted storyline. I loved Katy especially as her new look masked the fact that she’s matured internally into a well adjusted, strong minded and self assured woman and that was far more important to me! And even though this is set in Australia, the narrative is relevant wherever you live or went to school as you will recognise yourself or others in the characters here.
If you’re a fan of Liane Moriarty then you will love B.M. Carroll. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am thrilled to have discovered a new author to me. Highly recommended.
About the Author
B.M. Carroll was born in Ireland, and spent her early career working in finance. She is the author of eight novels, her most recent being The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy. She lives in Sydney.