Out of My Depth by Emily Barr

Date of Publication: 2006, Headline Review

Number of Pages: 408

Synopsis (from back cover): When Susie decides to invite her old school friends to stay for a reunion she tells herself that it’s just about showing off. It’s about letting Amanda, Izzy, and Tamsin see how well she’s done, with her successful career as an artist, her gorgeous house in France and her delicious boyfriend. But this is a plan that could make or break her seemingly perfect life…and she knows it.

As the old friends gather for a long weekend of catching up and comparisons, it’s clear that, deny it though they may, they’re all still haunted by a dark secret. Up until now they have been treading water – waiting for the moment when they must face the truth.

But now that the time has come, who will sink and who will swim?

Review: As this book has already been reviewed by our own Michelle, I will try to keep this short. I read this book in one day…I absolutely could not put it down. The story grabs you from the very beginning, and doesn’t let go until the last page. The four friends, Susie, Amanda, Izzy, and Tamsin, are so different from each other, and yet they all seem to belong together. Also, their differences give the reader a richer experience, as all four of them experienced the tragedy that ultimately ended their friendship in different ways. One thing I liked a lot about this story is that not all of the characters were likeable. They were real. They had definite flaws and complicated relationships, and it made the story much more believable.

There were a few things I did not like about this book, however, and in my opinion, these things actually detracted somewhat from the reading experience. For starters, the impression I had of Tamsin, from the reaction of her friends at the prospect of seeing her again, was of someone evil and sinister. These women actually had a physical reaction to the thought of seeing her, almost as if the very idea made them sick, like they were afraid of her. This did not seem to indicate guilt at all. I instead thought that they had possibly witnessed Tamsin committing a horrible crime, like a murder or something similar. When Amanda and Izzy meet her on the plane and she’s perfectly normal, I was confused and almost distressed. I also felt that the final explanation of the “incident” felt a little bit implausible, almost like an afterthought.

In the end, though, I really enjoyed reading this book, and that is the most important thing. I think this book will appeal mainly to women readers because of the attention given to the emotional and sexual development of the four main characters. However, any fan of modern fiction and psychological suspense will enjoy this book, and I feel free to recommend it to basically everyone I know.

Rating: 8/10

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