Natty and Sean Wainwright have a rock-solid marriage and family. When their younger daughter falls ill on an overseas school trip, Natty rushes to her side. Luckily, Natty's best friend from college, Eve Dalladay, is visiting and offers to stay with Sean to lend a hand in the Wainwright household. But Natty returns home to find that Sean has fallen in love with Eve. Natty attempts to start anew, but Eve is there to knock her down again. Then Natty receives a mysterious note that says Eve has done this before and the consequences were fatal. On a mission to reveal Eve as a vindictive serial mistress, Natty must navigate through a treacherous maze of secrets and lies that threatens her life and the safety of her loved ones.
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Put Realiity On-Hold Here; A Bit Over The Top
- Marjorie "Life's good when I am listening to a great book."
Sociopathic, Interesting, Curious
I might, in some ways, compare this to "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn because it has some similar elements in regards to sociopath behavior and changing point of view throughout the story. It's similar in that it has a deranged antagonist that sets up the protagonist in a menacing way as to destroy their life for some perceived gain. I say perceived as in both books, neither antagonist seems aware of the depths of their insanity, or if they are a bit aware, neither care to be very dynamic past manipulating others to their demise. Both books have this borderline personality feel to them that cause tremendous dysregulation to the audience, which instant cause their audience to form somewhat of a bond to their victims.
The difference between these books is in "Gone Girl," it's not easy to tell who the antagonist is as the reader is challenged to continue to figure it out from other points of view. In this book, the reader is able to figure it out quickly from the actions of the characters. The characters in "Keep Your Friends Close" aren't very dynamic because I feel the author didn't let that happen. There is some dynamic, but it's not a perceivable difference and that part is frustrating because I really believe this perhaps was a missed opportunity on the writer's part. However, as I write this, I'm thinking that this is true also of "Gone Girl." The villains in both books tend to be cyclical in their behaviors, repeating the same sorts of destructive behaviors and going to great lengths not to eradicate the behavior, but to eradicate the truth of who they actually are. Both books have high functioning psychopaths that are able to easily deceive others. They are aware of how things look on the outside and use that to their advantage to manipulate others, including law enforcement. Both books use the villain to manipulate law enforcement to create very serious problems for the protagonist.
My favorite scene would have to be when Natalie is having a break down and her daughters call her estranged husband to the house. Natalie has decided she is going to kill her ex-best friend and husband's mistress and she has the weapons in front of her and is murmuring out loud how to commit such a crime without getting caught. The husband shows up with his mistress and she finally gets to confront them both together in a meaningful way than she had been able to do in previous scenes.
This was a book that I wanted to listen all the way through without pause. Each moment kept me wanting to know what the next moment would lead to. There wasn't a mundane or dull moment for me in this book. It spared the reader the incidental details that make a book boring and make me want to fast forward. In this book, you must pay attention to the details because it will be used later. All parts were relevant to something as it lends a contextual clue in the conclusion.
I loved it right from beginning. I tend to know how most stories will go from the beginning. Throughout the book, I felt an instant connection and kept yelling at my own husband, threatening him never to pull such shenanigans. I didn't like the end. I hate being left hanging and I felt I was. I heard the ending sentences and "We hope you have enjoyed this book by Audible" and I was completely in shock. I cannot say much else without adding spoilers. It leaves little clues to what happens to Natalie Wainwright (protagonist) and her family without my interpretation of that that might be. I want to know who was going to be arrested and for what. The author was doing great and it's like she just got bored and stopped writing and decided she was done with the book. I liked the characters (even the villain in here). I was into this and that is why I gave it one less star. I want to know what happens next. Have I emphasized this enough? It's a complete let down. I don't want to fill in the blanks with what should happen. Yes, I'm able to think of a few things that should happen to the protagonist and especially the antagonist, but it isn't my story to tell. I hate that!
As far as performance, I liked it. The accent is British and it works for the setting of the story. The performer did a good job as far as telling the story. She tries to differentiate her voice when the characters are speaking, so the reader can determine who is speaking. The intonation in her voice is also good when defining in reference to the feeling of the character. In that regard she is empathetic with them.
Overall worth the read. Some of the story is a bit predictable and cliche, but that's okay. It ought to be in this instance and with its set up. I like how the author sets it up and refers to points the readers may have missed, particularly since the jump changes point of views throughout the story.
- Amber K.