2016 Book #2 – Too Close to Home by Susan Lewis

518p6FZfawLTitle: Too Close to Home
Author: Susan Lewis
Date finished: 1/5/16
Genre: Fiction, thriller, women’s fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Pages in book: 512
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Jenna Moore finally feels that she and her family are exactly where they should be. Leaving busy London behind, they’ve moved to the beautiful, serene Welsh coast. There Jenna, her husband, Jack, and the couple’s four children have found a little slice of heaven. In the house of their dreams, Jenna and Jack are ramping up for the launch of their new publishing business, and the kids are happier than they’ve ever been, wandering the wild, grassy moors that meet white sand beaches and wide ocean.

But a fissure cracks open. The once open and honest Jack suddenly seems to be keeping secrets, spinning intricate lies. And fifteen-year-old Paige has become withdrawn, isolating herself from her family and her new friends. Frightened of the darkness enveloping her family, Jenna struggles to hold her loved ones together. But a cruel disturbance has insinuated itself into her home, threatening to take away everything she holds dear.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “Holiday 2015 Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “2015 Release You Missed” square, since I was supposed to read this book for its 2015 release on NetGalley and fell a little behind therefore I missed it. This book tells the story of Jenna Moore, her husband Jack, and her four children (from oldest to youngest) Paige, Josh, Wills and Flora (twins). Paige is fifteen now and even though they just moved from London to Wales, she is making lots of new friends at her new school and she is thriving in her new school environment. She is working on a film project for school with the help of her step-father Jack and she was also given a lead role in an upcoming school play.
Jenna is happy with her family’s move and is looking forward to the business she is building with her husband. Though Jenna has already published a couple novels, she is currently experiencing some writer’s block and has fallen behind with her agent on her deadline for her next book. Other than that though things seem to be going along well. And then all of a sudden things start falling apart. Jenna starts noticing that her husband Jack is disappearing a lot. And his stories about where he’s been aren’t really adding up. Jenna starts to suspect that something awful may be brewing, but she isn’t prepared when Jack finally decides to reveal the truth. Also Paige has been distant, withdrawn, and downright mean lately to her family and Jenna can’t figure out why (though to be fair she doesn’t try overly hard to figure it out). What Jenna doesn’t realize is that Paige is dealing with her own demons, ones that she really needs help with but has no idea who or how to ask. And if Jenna isn’t careful, she may lose her firstborn to these events.
It is hard for me to say that overall I liked this book but I did. Obviously no one likes the story matter of this book, these are tough items to deal with. Divorce and bullying can make anyone’s stomach turn but even though these are hard topics to read about, they are so important. This book had an extremely important message about bullying and the trauma it can cause. The raw emotion in this book was just astounding to me, as a reader I was filled with tension and anxiety and apprehension for most of the book. I was on the edge of my seat with my stomach in flutters getting ready for the next fight. If you as a reader connect emotionally with the story then this may be a tough one because you will feel pain and desperation and frustration like you’ve never felt before in a book. I didn’t like this book because there was a happy ending, I liked this book so much because it was powerful. It had a powerful message that it delivered with powerful emotions through well developed characters. I think this is a book that everyone should read, if only to see the pain that bullying can cause.

The bottom line: I would recommend this book, it was riveting and heart-breaking and tension filled. Just be forewarned that if you are a reader who gets emotionally involved in the stories, this one may be a tough one to get through. Definitely recommend it though! Powerful stuff.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page