Monday, January 6, 2020

The Playground by Jane Shemilt

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Jane Shemilt's latest, The Playground.

Eve, Melissa, and Grace will all do anything for their children. It's this drive that pushes Eve to start a special tutoring session to help children with dyslexia—children like Poppy. As the session advances, the parents socialize and become, some might say, close. Secrets are shared and more are kept hidden. And by the end of the summer what began as budding friendships turns into something much more dark and sinister.

I was excited to dive into The Playground considering how much I enjoyed Shemilt's The Daughter. And it's been quite a time since that previous release.

The Playground is the same sort of family drama/thriller as The Daughter. The story is set over the course of a few months, beginning with Eve kicking off her new tutoring sessions for Poppy and two other children with dyslexia—Blake, the son of a well-known author, and Isabelle (Izzy) the daughter of an acquaintance of Eve's husband. The kids are joined by Eve's other two children and Blake's sister, spending time in Eve's garden between lessons, scheming more than they are playing. But their parents don't know any better.

And the parents don't know because they're, frankly, not great parents!

Eve is absorbed in her own melodrama. Melissa is studiously focused on not irritating her ass of a husband, and Grace works so much that her husband is left in charge of the kids over the summer.

To say much more would probably give some of the story away. I will say that it's pretty dark. I'll also say that almost from the start, some of the pieces that are coming are easy to tease out before Shemilt really starts heavily hinting at them.

Shemilt's writing is the kind you can really sink into. She's wordy, but not in a bad way. Her prose is pitch perfect in description and each of the characters comes to life—not an easy task with such a cast of featured characters and with such a range of ages.

But again, it is a dark read.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Jane Shemilt and her work you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

Sounds interesting, thanks for sharing your thoughts

Sara Strand said...

This was a really good book, I've already recommended it to so many people since finishing it! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

Unknown said...

Could you explain how you interpreted the last chapter? I've loved all your reviews so was hoping you could help me with this one! Was confused about what grace did and the two men?