About Last Night by Adele Parks
|About Last Night by Adele Parks|
|Genre: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Slightly darker than expected, but a great, involving read for the beach.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: June 2011|
|Publisher: Headline Review|
|External links: Author's website|
I've noticed a trend in recent women's commercial fiction titles of rather dark subject matters. It seems that the light-hearted romps involving shopping and shoes are out and the subjects have grown up and become much more serious. This latest from Adele Parks certainly deals with some weighty issues. Steph and Pip have been best friends since they were at school together. They've supported each other through everything, and although they both find themselves living very different lifestyles they are still best friends. Or at least, that's what they think until Steph desperately needs Pip's help after one eventful night and Pip suddenly isn't sure if she can help her best friend.
I really liked the beginning of this story, being introduced to Steph and Pip when they are just little girls at schools. It helped set the tone for their future friendship. The story belongs to both of them, although I personally preferred Pip and I believed in her a little bit more. When we see them grown up, Steph is married with three children, her husband is rich and so they live in a large house, send their children to private schools and have a cleaner. Pip, however, is a single mum to one daughter. She's broke, still hurt by her husband's betrayal and abandonment and struggling to get on in her life. I thought it was interesting to see the dynamics of their relationship at the start, so then the full effect on both of them of the approaching drama is made clear.
The story is quite clever in not revealing too much in one go, so the reader is drip fed various pieces of information. Without spoiling things the issues of betrayal, adultery, truth and trust all become very important. I liked that I wasn't entirely sure where the author was going with the story, but I'm afraid I was disappointed by the ending itself - things were just tied up a little bit too conveniently for me. I felt as if those at fault didn't suffer as much as they should have done, and I was unconvinced that everything could end quite so tidily.
I thought it was interesting to see a supposedly happy woman realise that actually she's terribly unhappy, and to see the way that having children, and life in general can erode away an otherwise happy relationship. There are some lighter moments, but there's also a lot of crying and despair too, and I did find it quite upsetting at times, so this is probably one to read when you're in a good mood! As mentioned, it does have a nice, safe happy ending (as uncomfortable as that felt to me after all that trauma!) and if you're willing to go along with that then this is a good read with some very interesting characters.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: You might also like to try Getting Away With It by Julie Cohen.
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