Saturday 27 March 2021

BLOG TOUR: Behind Closed Doors - Catherine Alliott

When Lucy is unexpectedly widowed, she doesn't know where to turn.

She seeks refuge with her elderly parents in Oxfordshire, hoping for an escape from past memories - and from her overbearing sister-in-law.

But she gets much more than she bargained for when she returns home. Her parents' bungalow is falling apart, and their surprisingly busy social life throws her in the path of an old childhood friend she hasn't seen for decades.

Yet as Lucy begins to move on, others start to ask questions.

Is she running away from her grief? Or did she leave something far worse behind . . .

What did I think?

I haven't read as many Catherine Alliott books as I would like but reading Behind Closed Doors reminded me what a fabulous author she is.  Do not let the beautiful cover mislead you into thinking that this will be a slow-paced, gentle read as this compelling, thought-provoking family drama is incredibly difficult to put down.

Laced with humour from the start, I tittered and chortled most of my way through the book but make no mistake, there are some very serious elements to the storyline.  Lucy, unexpectedly finding herself widowed, moves back home to live with her elderly parents and finds that everything isn't as rosy as they have been painting it.  I think love for our family makes it very difficult to see what is going on right in front of us especially when our loved ones tend to put on a show to hide things from us.

I absolutely loved Lucy's parents; their whole day revolves around gin o'clock and it's no wonder these octogenarians are so sprightly as they're practically pickled.  The antics of them and their equally naughty friends provides endless entertainment and I could have read a whole novel just about them.  It makes a lovely contrast to Lucy's story which is cast in shadow following the loss of her husband.

Lucy's story is absolutely brilliant and makes the title of the book very apt.  Nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors and it's frightening to think about what people may be hiding from their friends and family.  We may see things that we think are none of our business but it's made me think that it's perhaps better to be seen as an interfering busybody than to turn a blind eye.  

Hugely entertaining and completely compelling, Behind Closed Doors is a wonderfully warm and engaging novel with family at its heart.  I loved it and it's definitely made me want to read more Catherine Alliott books as soon as I can.

I received a gifted ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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