This book! Someone needs to make this into a film or a short series.🎭
As before, there will be spoilers in this review so if this is on your TBR List, stop reading!
We meet Libby who has just inherited a mansion in Chelsea, London. A mansion in which she was found abandoned in 25 years ago. A mansion where 3 decomposing bodies were found, two of which include her parents….dun! dun! duuuuun!
I totally Googled the address, this is what I found! That alone looks so nice!
The story is told from different perspectives from Lucy, Henry & Libby which gives a lot of depth to the characters and it also helps you understand them better. Libby is set on finding out what really happened to her birth parents and as a result dark & twisted secrets are revealed.
The book flips between the past & present, I think this was a great touch and it helped so much in truly understanding the mindset of these young children who were stuck in this life chosen by their parents.
Through Henry we get an insight into the past, to the moment David & Sally with their children Clemency & Phineas (Phin) and a musician Birdie and her partner Justin move into the Chelsea home to stay with Henry, his sister Lucy and the Lamb family. It’s not long till the family becomes disconnected from their ‘normal’ life. The children begin to be homeschooled, over time all the house belongings are sold and an explanation “we should live live more simply” is given. Through Henry’s eyes we are able to see that soon the house feels more like a cult, different variations of herbs are grown in the garden, bizarre rules are implemented, clothes and shoes are donated to charity, no one can leave the house and everyone starts to wear home made black robes! Let’s also not forget the charming David who seems to be the puppeteer. To say a lot happens in an understatement! Fast forward 4 years and we have 3 dead adults, well 4 but no one ever found Birdie and 4 missing children and one baby. David himself, was quite a chilling character, hungry for control and power, his necessity to obtain this through any means necessary often left me fearing for the life of the children. He was such a manipulative character, loving and charming when it suited him, yet cold and calculating underneath.
At first I was a little confused as I wasn’t entirely sure how the characters were all interlinked. I think the character that confused me the most was Lucy and I think this was just down to her being in based in France. You do quickly begin to understand her significance. We soon come to realise she is one of the 4 missing children! I think it was such a great idea to have both her and Henry involved as the narrators as you could see different paths the children took after their escape from the house. Sadly for Lucy, she was met with more violence in her life, unlucky in love and on the streets of France playing the fiddle, with hope of collecting enough money to feed her children and dog. Henry on the other hand, although also unlucky with love and a victim of violence, did everything in his power to get back into the position of wealth David took from him. Both were waiting for the day the ‘baby turned 25’, Libby’s birthday – the day she would be told of her inheritance.
I must also say, I enjoyed Miller’s character, his investigative journalism really helped to get things in motion, he was that push that Libby needed in times of uncertainty. I felt like she needed a protector, I couldn’t shake away the feeling that something bad might happen to her.
The moment the family was reunited was so sweet, it actually made me feel a little emotional, it was heartbreaking but so sweet. I did wonder if Henry would eventually flip the switch and kill everyone so that he can get the inheritance. Am I the only one? I’m still not very trusting of him!
Lastly, without giving too much away, Libby’s real birth parents? that was a shock, I actually didn’t see that coming!
The last few pages between Henry and Phin- oh my gosh!
Also can we talk about Henry climbing back on the roof AS AN ADULT, finding Birdie’s mummified body in the drain! Where he put it 25 years ago! and then taking her bones, putting them in a black bag and dropping it into the Thames? Why did no one address this?? It was mentioned so casually and no one seemed to actually register what was said! Henry low key made me feel uncomfortable.
Overall, it was such a good read, definitely a page-turner! The first few chapters were a tad slow but I think once all the families moved in, things began to get very interesting!
There will be a part 2 to this book, I think to be released in 2022. How do we feel about this?
I feel like the story will focus on the journey to Africa, where Libby can reunite with her father but I also feel like Henry will have some dark ulterior motive behind him seeing Phin again. I’m interested to see how the story develops!
What are your theories??
Thanks for checking in!