Wednesday 9 October 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Family - Louise Jensen

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.

But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.

Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

What did I think?

I always get excited when I see a new Louise Jensen book coming out; her books are absolutely brilliant and if you haven't read one yet, what are you waiting for?  Pick one, pick them all, you won't be disappointed.  I must warn you though, once you pick up The Family, you simply can't do anything until you finish the book.  Thank goodness for cold and wet October weekends; not that I need an excuse to stay inside to read, of course.  The Family is definitely a one-sitting kind of book, with an intriguing prologue and little cliffhangers at the end of each chapter making you read just one more after just one more.

The Family, as you would expect, is about family: Laura's flesh family (doesn't that sound creepy?) and her chosen family (which really is creepy).  Laura and her daughter, Tilly, find themselves in unimaginable circumstances when Laura's husband, Gavan, dies.  With so much turmoil surrounding Gavan's death, Laura finds herself ostracized from Gavan's family and struggling to pay the rent.  With nowhere left to turn, she is invited to join the community at Gorphwysfa (Welsh for 'resting place') and is unable to resist joining the family led by the alluring and enigmatic Alex.

The story is told from three viewpoints, that of Laura, Tilly and Alex.  The characters have been developed so wonderfully that each voice had its own individuality but what they each have in common is a heartbreaking story at their core.  Laura has never had much luck with her 'flesh' family, Tilly is suffering at school thanks to a group of mean girls and Alex just wants to look after his family...or does he?  

I think Louise Jensen is a bit of a magician; with slight of hand, she has you looking in completely the wrong direction as she plucks the ace out of her sleeve for the big reveal.  I knew there would be at least one secret struggling to remain hidden but Louise Jensen goes one better with some absolutely huge, jaw-dropping surprises in store for the reader.  Just when I thought that I'd heard it all and I could breathe again, Louise Jensen completely took the wind out of my sails and I was actually left breathless.  This is absolutely brilliant writing; Louise Jensen, I salute you!  

The Family is jaw-droppingly brilliant; it's a highly addictive read that completely took my breath away.  Clear your schedule as once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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