Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.
Today’s feature is a recent download: The Playground, by Jane Shemilt.
Intro: (The Truth)
It was surprising how quickly things took off in the end, like a bonfire, one of those big ones the children loved so much. Some nights I hear that sound of crackling again, like a bomb ticking down. I wait for the roar and see the flames; the scent of scorching fills the air. I can feel that searing heat.
Teaser: (Summer Holidays)
Later the police would pore over the videos we took that summer, play them over and over, looking to see where it all began. They start—as everything does—with the children. Poppy and Sorrel waiting by the door, wearing dress-up clothes. Charley and Blake being dropped off, Izzy arriving. (p.61).
Synopsis: Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.
There’s Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there’s Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.
As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.
What do you think? I have been eyeing this book for a while. Would you keep reading?