Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Book review : To Dare - Jemma Wayne

To Dare is the tense new read from Jemma Wayne, author of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. It introduces us to three families who are all very imperfect and believable. As they come into contact with each other, how will they react to each other ?

The first character is Simone, struggling to be a good mum in spite of her abusive, controlling husband. Feeling miserable and trapped in her grotty council flat, she has managed to find herself a new job, but how can she tell her husband ? He's already had a go at her about looking at the rich next-door neighbours. Or maybe, she wonders, it's all her fault for rubbing him up the wrong way.

In the next house is Veronica and her wealthy husband George. They are hoping that their smart new home will be a happy place that will help them start over and heal from a recent trauma. But when they hear a loud banging in the middle of the night, accompanied with noisy music and a baby crying, they wonder what is going on next door. Where have they set up their new home ?

Veronica soon runs into Sarah, the mother of one of the children that she teaches, who used to be her best friend when they were growing up. They decide to try to rekindle their friendship, but the balance has changed and everything seems to be adding more tension to the whole set-up.

As the three families try to get their lives on an even keel, everything seems hopelessly off-kilter. Power games and the jealousy of seeing what your neighbours have that you could never hope to achieve add momentum to the whole swirling mess of relationships as they start to spiral out of control.

It's a gripping read and one that will make you wonder about what goes on behind closed doors.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (1 July 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1789559839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1789559835
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm

Disclosure : I received the book in order to share my honest review.


  1. I enjoy domestic noir/thrillers, and this book sounds gripping.

  2. Wow, this looks interesting!

  3. This book looks like a real page turner

  4. Lovely review - another new author to explore


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