She doesn’t know I’m there, watching her in the mirror. She slides her hand under her blouse. And then I see something impossible. She isn’t pregnant…
She bursts into my life like a storm, and nothing is the same again. She seems so perfect, with her lilting laugh and her beautiful face. One by one, I watch as my friends fall under her spell.
Only I seem to suspect something. Only I see that her smiles don’t reach her cold, furious eyes. And when I’m accused of things I didn’t do, when my home is vandalized, I know she’s behind it. But she only lets her mask slip when no one is looking, so if I say anything, I’ll look crazy.
So when the baby shower comes around I’m there, sitting on a velvet sofa in a posh hotel room, surrounded by balloons. We share gifts, we pour small glasses of champagne, and she beams, her bump just visible under her bright red shirt.
But that afternoon, I finally learn the unbelievable truth.
There is no baby…
What a brilliant book S.E. Lynes has delivered to her growing legion of fans! I’ve loved her books since Valentina (still on my list of all time favourites!) and 10 books later, The Baby Shower still ticked every single box for me. There was a twisty and engaging storyline, characters you love to hate and a powerful depiction of female friendships…a perfect storm of a psychological thriller!
Jane has a good life-a loving husband, her own successful business and supportive friends. The only cloud in her sky is an inability to conceive. Her friends are really important to her especially her best friend Sophie, in whom she has confided about her fertility problem. So when Sophie introduces a new girl into their close knit group, Jane is understandably anxious and on edge. Lexi seems to infiltrate the group easily and Sophie especially is very taken by her. Jane starts to worry about losing the closeness she has with Sophie and is upset when she realises that Sophie has shared things with Lexi that were personal to their friendship. I loved how the complexity of these friendships was slowly unraveled and I think we can all relate to many of the issues raised here. Feeling like you are losing a best friend can almost affect you like a bereavement or a marital breakdown as it’s such a strong connection where we share more of ourselves than we do with pretty much anyone else in our lives! I understood Jane’s jealousy and devastation at what she saw as a betrayal of her trust and all the deeply personal emotions she had poured into her friendship with Sophie.
The multiple POV in the narrative kept me on edge throughout and I was completely gripped by their differing viewpoints and emotions. The baby shower organised by Lexi was the catalyst that set off a whole series of events from which Jane struggled to escape and I could physically feel her pain as she realised there was something very wrong. Although I had a bit of an idea where the story was heading, I did feel the shocks as much as Jane did and I loved the fact that Lynes didn’t take the easy option towards the end. There were some very difficult issues involved throughout the storyline but they were handled with the sensitivity of someone who truly understands relationships-good and bad-and how they affect women especially. I came away feeling like I had been through a break-up of some sort and couldn’t settle down to read another book as I felt like I didn’t want to let go of The Baby Shower- a sign that this book had affected me far more than I was expecting it to!
S.E. Lynes is the Amazon #1 best selling author of THE HOUSEWARMING, VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT, THE PROPOSAL, THE WOMEN, THE LIES WE HIDE, CAN YOU SEE HER? HER SISTER’s SECRET and her latest, THE BABY SHOWER, is out NOW.
A former BBC Producer, she has lived in France, Spain, Scotland and Italy and is now settled in Greater London. After completing her MA, S E Lynes taught creative writing at Richmond Adult Community College for ten years. She now combines writing, mentoring and lecturing in Richmond Borough.
Lynes has also published three children’s books in Italy: IL LEOPARDO LAMPO, LA COCCODRILLA INGAMBA, and the bilingual LA SCIMMIA SPIRITOSA/THE FUNNY MONKEY, all available at Amazon.it
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