Monday 20 July 2020

Finders Keepers by Sabine Durrant BLOG TOUR @SabineDurrant #FindersKeepers @HodderBooks @JennyPlatt90 #BookReview

Ailsa Tilson moves with her husband and children to Trinity Fields in search of the new.
New project - a house to renovate. New people - no links to the past. New friends - especially her next-door neighbour, the lonely Verity, who needs her help.

Verity has lived in Trinity Fields all her life. She's always resisted change. Her home and belongings are a shield, a defence to keep the outside world at bay. But something about the Tilsons piques her interest.

Just as her ivy creeps through the shared garden fence, so Verity will work her way into the Tilson family.

And once they realise how formidable she can be, it might well be too late.

Finders Keepers by Sabine Durrant was published in hardback on 9 July 2020 by Hodder Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, and invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.

I have long been a fan of Sabine Durrant's writing, and hearing of a new release by her was a real joy. I have been completely and totally consumed by Finders Keepers; it is a story told in the most beautiful language; it is precise and tautly woven. It moves at a pace that keeps the reader intrigued, casting a spell and slowly and carefully revealing the intricacies of the plot.

Verity has lived in the same house in Trinity Fields, London for her entire life. She cared for her mother before she died, and her sister Faith left years ago. Now, it's just Verity and her dog Maudie who occupy the large, somewhat dilapidated house. Verity works from home, she's a wordsmith; working on new definitions for updated versions of the dictionary. 

Verity has new neighbours. The Tilsons; Aisla, Tom and three children, couldn't be more different to Verity.  They have transformed their house; it is nothing like Verity's, and despite the adjoining wall, the stark contrast between their clean, modern, minimalistic dwelling and Verity's leaking, shabby house becomes a theme that runs throughout the story.

This really is a tale about contrast. Despite Tom's anger towards Verity and her overgrown garden, with weeds that dare to creep into his perfectly created space, the two women strike up a relationship. Whilst it would be difficult to call this a traditional friendship, it's certainly a compelling and intriguing pairing and always seen through Verity's own eyes.

Sabine Durrant excels in character creation. I have a great fondness for unreliable, and quite frankly, unlikeable fictional characters and this book is filled with them. Verity's narrative is completely one-sided and the reader will often question what she says. Aisla is drawn as a flighty, sometime cruel woman, whilst Tom's portrayal is that of a bully who expects everything to go his way.

There's a death at the centre of this story. The reader knows who is dead, and who is accused of it, but it takes some time for us to realise what happened, we are kept on our toes, always wondering and I changed my mind many times throughout the novel. 
The author begins each chapter with a word definition and also with the description of a random object, it is not until around 100 pages in, that the significance of these objects become clear, and it's a game changer. Readers will revisit how they see Verity, maybe they will find more empathy for her, maybe not. 

There are many authors quoted on the cover of this book, and to be honest, I find it difficult to add anything to their words. They have said everything. This really is a sublime story, written with panache and incredible insight into the human mind, and the power of the female relationship. 

Finders Keepers is mesmerising and mysterious. I was absolutely gripped throughout. This author really cannot put a foot wrong, in my view. Highly recommended and sure to be in my top books of 2020.

Sabine Durrant is the author of four psychological thrillers, Under Your Skin, Remember Me This Way, Lie With Me, a Richard & Judy Bookclub selection and Sunday Times paperback bestseller, and Take Me In.

Her previous novels are Having It and Eating It and The Great Indoors, and two books for teenage girls.. 
She is a former features editor of the Guardian and a former literary editor at the Sunday Times, and her writing has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines.

She lives in south London with her partner and their three children.

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