In case you forgot, I’m Sarah. I read books and I’m really bad at managing all of the things I want to do in my life. I have seriously dropped the ball with reading, my blog and everything related. Then…I received a comment on an old post which was so lovely and complimentary that gave me a kick up the backside, so here we are. I’ve never had a formal format for writing reviews, however they have all flowed a certain way to date. I’ve decided to mix it up a little. When I read a review, I like it to be clear, straight to the point and simple. So testing a new style out for this ARC review. I’d be interested to hear any feedback from you lovely lot.
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Amber Cowie for this ARC in return for an honest review.
Raven Lane is the type of street whereby all new home owners must be approved, community parties are a-plenty and everyone knows everyone’s business. Esme and Benedict Werner are ingrained into the community until Benedict is involved in a car accident causing the death of their neighbour. From the moment of the accident, everything starts to unravel for the Werners. Lies, secrets and betrayals are dug up from both the distant and near past and the serenity of Raven Lane is well and truly destroyed.
General Thoughts 🤔
I started this book quite some time ago and although the first couple of chapters had me gripped, I lost interest quite quickly and therefore put it down. I came back to it purely because I wanted to finish it. It didn’t pick up for me and I was pretty much just going through the motions in order to get it finished.
There wasn’t really an unravelling of the story, I felt like this big thing happened (the car accident), then some secrets came out, then it was back and forth in a timeline and then another big thing happened at the end. I wanted more build up and more tension building. Without that, I didn’t feel the BAM that I perhaps should have felt.
There are quite a few characters in the book. Some of them you kind of do get to know, others are very much on the periphery and I’m not sure add an awful lot. I struggled in the beginning to know who was who, who lived with who, who was who’s kid.
I didn’t make much of a meaningful connection with any of the characters. I had moments of sympathy for Esme as well as Benedict, but it wasn’t deep.
Writing Style ✍🏽
Although I struggled with staying focused on this book, it wasn’t too difficult to pick it back up and know what was going on. I’d compare it to what I call background TV. Shows you can put on in the background and get what’s going on, but still do something else at the same time.
Couple of things to watch out for; the timeline does jump around with no warning or setting of tense, so there is a moment of adjustment. There are also parts that are supposed to be excerpts of another novel which again; weren’t signposted well enough for me.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
Unfortunately, this book and I just did not get along. It wasn’t spicey enough for me and I didn’t find the drama that I thought the synopsis sold to me. I hate to give a negative review, but it wouldn’t be honest to say otherwise.
I wouldn’t be adverse to giving other books by Amber Cowie a go, but this one unfortunately didn’t float my boat!