A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon – Review.

About The Book

A NICE, NORMAL HOUSE

Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant.

A NICE, NORMAL HUSBAND

Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood.

A NICE, NORMAL LIFE…

If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have never read a book by this author before, although I do have The Trouble With Goats And Sheep. I don’t think I’ve ever ‘met’ a character as strong as Linda. One of those who made me feel like many of the other characters felt. A little uneasy, fearful and at times lost for words. The only other who was anywhere near a match for her was her mother.

Linda is very needy. She sees an acquaintance who she might exchange a few words with as a best friend with a lot in common. She doesn’t see that the acquaintance could see this as intimidation and is baffled when they give her the cold shoulder. When I got to know her and learnt more about what happened in her childhood I could  understand why she was this way. She was just a very lonely woman, married to a man she didn’t seem to like that much and an extremely vocal and controlling mother. 

The serial killer storyline was only in the background, all of the focus was on Linda and her need to be best friends with somebody. It was easy to see that the people she chose were just using her and laughing at her. What was less easy to see was that Linda was also aware of this and was more than capable of looking after herself. This was an aspect of the storyline that I completely missed and I need to read the book again at some point.

It is one of those books that on finishing you wonder what you have read. I had to think about it for a few hours, analysing the different characters. All I can say at this point is that I’m relieved I don’t know anybody like Linda.

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