Thursday 5 June 2014

Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly

Natty strives to have the perfect life with her husband Sean and their daughters Alice and Felicity. Together, she and Sean have built up a successful hotel and are now enjoying the benefits of a more affluent lifestyle, with their large house and expensive cars. But their idyllic life is torn to shreds when Felicity is taken ill while on a school trip to France. Natty rushes to her side, but when she returns, Sean reveals he is in love with another woman. And that woman is Natty's friend, Eve.
Natty is devastated and knows she must try to move on with her life, but she can't let go, especially when she receives an anonymous note telling her that this isn't the first time Eve has stolen somebody's husband.
I enjoyed Paula Daly's debut novel, Just What Kind Of Mother Are You? so I was looking forward to reading Keep Your Friends Close. It has such a great, eerie premise of a woman taking over her friend's life completely, with the friend feeling powerless to stop it and the book didn't disappoint at all. To begin with, I wasn't sure I would take to Natty as she is quite compulsive as she strives for perfection. Everything has to be pristine and I was afraid this could become annoying, but we do find out why Natty behaves the way she does. I couldn't help feeling for her when she returns with Felicity to find her life has been ambushed by Eve. Not only has Sean been having an affair with her friend, he has fallen in love with her and no longer wants to be with Natty. The time frame in which this happens is a little tight for my liking, but I suppose that is the power Eve has on men and I went with it.
Eve is such a bitch. She is cold and calculating, manipulating those around her without becoming a pantomime villain, which, for me, made her a fantastic character to root against. As a reader, we can see the woman she truly is but we have to see how and if Natty can prove that Eve is dangerous and shouldn't be trusted. As Natty digs into Eve's past, we also find out what happened to Natty during their days at university together and I enjoyed learning about her and her relationship with Sean, discovering the events that have shaped her life.
I thought Keep Your Friends Close was a fantastic read that hooked me from the start and kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen to Natty and Eve. I thought the ending in particular was brilliant and I'm looking forward to Paula Daly's future releases.

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