Every vow you break by Julia Crouch – a review

On my recent mammoth holiday reading session, this was one of the first books I picked up. I had read Cuckoo for the TOPCWFC 2012 and enjoyed it, so was looking forward to this one.

Lara moves to New York with her actor husband, twins and toddler. Whilst there, they meet up with old friend Stephen who is now a famous film star but currently in hiding having had a run in with a stalker. Strange things then start happening, and it seems the stalker may have returned.

I thought that ‘Every vow you break’ was an interesting story although I did feel the end was slightly predictable. The book starts quite slowly, and is very descriptive. The atmosphere is built up with descriptions of the area as well as the day to day minutia of family life such as supermarket shopping that was a feature of Cuckoo. Yet there was enough of interest to keep you turning the pages.

I did however find some of the characters and the stories around them completely frustrating.  The twins relationship is quite central but their interaction seems as though it was included for shock value rather than because it was a necessary plot device. I also felt that the relationship between Lara and Stephen didn’t ring true and seemed to come out of the blue. Of course that’s not helped by the fact I thought that central character Lara is one of the most annoying characters I’ve ever read.

I think that we are supposed to feel a bit sorry for her, she is married to a completely selfish older man with a failing career, she is struggling bringing up three children whilst being the main breadwinner and feeling guilty about a recent abortion that she was forced into having by her husband. However I’m afraid I completely failed to feel any sympathy for her at all. She is either incredibly stupid or so self absorbed she can’t see anything else around her. She could leave her husband as she has her own income but chooses to stay, she completely misses the screwed up relationship her twins have, and fails to notice that the brother is completely mad.

The other problem I had with this book was the ending. It all seemed to be wrapped up too cleanly, and meant that what had been a good story ended a bit flatly. Sometimes stories work best if there isn’t an easy tie up and if things are left hanging a little. Overall though I enjoyed this read and it was a perfect beach read.

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