My walk through Delta park this past Sunday was a little different. As I wound my way past the cluster of bright jungle gyms and children's parties I looked a little closer at the families playing there, imagining each of their stories, scratching at the surface of their domestic bliss. It's no wonder, because this is where my latest read, The Park, has its chilling beginning.
Rebecca is a young mother who spends her afternoons taking her daughter Amy to the park to play. As an almost-mother myself, I identified with her immediately. She is slightly unsure of the new world she finds herself in and eager to make new friends. She is soon taken in by the flamboyant Rose and the quiet, compelling Lilith. Their new trio mirrors many female friendships - uncertain, conditional and often political. Even when they are content in the flush of their new relationship there is a tangible sense of foreboding. We know that something is about to go really wrong.
Gail Schimmel has the knack of Liane Moriarty in taking our deepest suburban fears and pushing them to fever pitch. The big event of the novel could happen to anyone, but Gail has taken it one step further, making a random event part of something far more sinister. It is unexpected and sheds light on new facets of each woman's personality.
With a cracking plot and complex characters, The Park is the perfect bookclub read because of the questions is asks of us. What makes a good mother? Who is the judge? And, unsettlingly, do we ever truly know our friends? It is a light, quick read underpinned by deep insight, making it the perfect read to get engrossed in on a lazy weekend or over the Easter Holidays!
Buy it from your local bookstore, or on Amazon Kindle here.
Interested in reading more about how Gail went about writing the book? Read my interview with her here.