Title: Other Parents
Author: Sarah Stovell
In a small town like West Burntridge, it should be impossible to keep a secret.
Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.
Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.
When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.
But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.
Other Parents is a compelling, intriguing study into various characters living in an English town called West Burntridge. They’re people with very different backgrounds but the majority of them either attend or send their children to the same school, and they all have their secrets…
The characters in Other Parents really make this book. Sarah Stovell has created convincing people who you want to read more of. They’re well developed and interesting. Reading about their thoughts and feelings kept me turning the pages eagerly.
The book isn’t action-packed or fast moving but it is intriguing, and as we slowly learn more about each person we have more of an idea why certain people are behaving the way they are. We observe the gossipy, tense relationships between parents at the local school and the pressure on parents to act a certain way.
Lots of important issues are touched upon in this novel, and to me it felt like they are dealt with sensitively. It never felt over dramatic but there were both humorous and emotional parts to the story.
I really enjoyed this absorbing book and would highly recommend it!
Other Parents is released in the UK on 20 January.
Many thanks to the publisher, HQ, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.