- € 4,49
'Brilliant' - The Times
'Gripping' - The Sunday Times Crime Club
'A smart summer read' - Daily Mail
'Suspenseful' - Publishers Weekly
'A skilful domestic whodunit' - Shots
A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife. When two families - one rich, one not - vacation together off the coast of South Carolina, little do they know that someone won't be returning home.
Fripp Island, South Carolina, is the perfect destination for the wealthy Daly family: Lisa, Scott, and their two girls. For Lisa's childhood friend, Poppy Ford, the resort island is a world away from the one she and Lisa grew up in-and when Lisa invites Poppy's family to join them, how can she turn down an all-expenses paid vacation for her husband and children?
But everyone brings secrets to the island, distorting what should be a convivial, relaxing summer on the beach. Lisa sees danger everywhere, while Poppy watches over her husband John and his routines with a sharp eye. It's a summer of change for all of the children too, who are exposed to new ideas and different ways of life as they forge a bond of their own.
Those who return from this vacation will spend the rest of their lives trying to process what they witnessed, the tipping points, moments of violence and tenderness, and the memory of whom they left behind.
Waterstone's Best Books Choice for June 2020
Kauffman's keen, atmospheric follow-up to The Gunners explores class, friendship, and dark family secrets. In the mid-1990s, Lisa and Scott Daly invite Lisa's longtime friend Poppy Ford; her husband, John; and their kids to join them for an all-expenses-paid four-day trip to South Carolina's Fripp Island. The Dalys' wealth is a source of tension for the Fords, who are still driving an '81 Dodge Omni and struggle to get by. Despite this, Lisa is eager to reconnect with Poppy while their children soak up the sun. Fourteen-year-old Rae Daly is instantly smitten with 17-year-old Ryan Ford, who is about to start college, and Ryan's younger sister, Alex, makes fast friends with Rae's little sister, Kimmy. However, a current of unease runs through time spent at the beach and boozy rounds of golf. Lisa suspects Scott is having an affair, Lisa and Poppy discover that a registered sex offender lives on the island, Ryan is secretive, and Rae simmers in quiet desperation. Perhaps inevitably, events spiral to a shocking conclusion. Kauffman's characters leap off the page; her portrait of Rae, a girl who longs to be seen as a woman, is especially vivid, as is her rendering of Lisa and Poppy's fraught yet affectionate relationship. Readers will devour this suspenseful summer drama. Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly spelled the title of the author's previous book.