21 April 2021

Review: GREENWICH PARK, Katherine Faulkner

Synopsis (publisher

Daniel is the perfect husband.
Rory is the perfect brother.
Serena is the perfect sister-in-law.

And Rachel? Rachel is the perfect nightmare.

When Helen, finally pregnant after years of tragedy, attends her first antenatal class, she is expecting her loving architect husband to arrive soon after, along with her confident, charming brother Rory and his pregnant wife, the effortlessly beautiful Serena. What she is not expecting is Rachel.

Extroverted, brash, unsettling single mother-to-be Rachel, who just wants to be Helen's friend. Who just wants to get know Helen and her friends and her family. Who just wants to know everything about them. Every little secret…

Masterfully plotted and utterly addictive, Greenwich Park is a dark, compelling look at motherhood, friendships, privilege and the secrets we keep to protect ourselves.

My Take

This is one of those books that just keeps the reader guessing. There are dark secrets to be unearthed, and just when I thought I had them all sussed out, then something else popped up.

As seems to be the fashion with the recent crime fiction novel, there are several narrators and their names head the various chapters. The "hook" is a letter written after the action is complete by an inmate of HMP Bowood to Helen saying that she needs to hear the truth, and here it is. There is no indication who the writer might be. The next chapters regress to when the pregnancy is at 24 weeks, and with Helen who is waiting at the antenatal class for her husband, brother, and sister in law to join her. Her sister in law Serena is also pregnant, more or less due at the same time. They don't arrive and Helen is joined by Rachel who is similarly pregnant and also on her own.

The novel then counts down each week, and new narrators pop up. Helen and Rachel become closer, until eventually Rachel moves in with Helen and Daniel. There are also scenes from Greenwich Park involving characters who remain unnamed.

So there is plenty of mystery for the reader to unravel, there are references to things that have happened in the past, as well as strange events occurring now. We are never quite sure about the relationship between various characters, but we tend to see things mainly from Helen's point of view.


My rating: 4.6

About the author

An award-winning journalist, Katherine Faulkner studied History at Cambridge. She has worked as an investigative reporter and an editor and was formerly the joint Head of News at The Times (London). She lives in London, where she grew up, with her husband and two daughters. Greenwich Park is her first novel.

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