The New Family by Victoria Jenkins
11/16/21; 352 pages
The New Family by Victoria Jenkins is a very highly recommended psychological thriller.
When Oliver and his three-year-old son, Fin, decide to rent Brooke's
family home along the coast in south Wales for several months, she is
thankful to have the income of a longer term rental during the off
season, especially after Brooke's studio is burned in an act of arson.
The Father and son were staying at an area B and B so they can easily
move in quickly. It doesn't hurt that Oliver is a handsome young man who
seems to have had a sad past, much like Brooke herself.
In London over a year earlier, Christina, a new mother of twins is
trying to cope with being a mother. She loves being a physiotherapist,
but feels she is losing herself. Adding to this is the fact that she
feels sick all the time, is having difficulty sleeping, and is
struggling with in her marriage to Matthew. She starts a brief affair
with Joel, but ends it with determination to work on her marriage. After
she ends the affair, Joel begins sending her messages threatening her
that it's not over.
Both Brooke and Christina are well developed characters. They are
very different women and are depicted as such. Each of them has a
distinct individual personality and are struggling with different
problems in their lives. They both are unable to control events
happening around them, or experiences from their past, and this makes
them both realistic but flawed people.
This well written novel follows these two completely different
narrative threads with mysteries set in two timelines. Both women have
had struggles in their past and are trying to the best they can under
trying circumstances. Throughout almost all of the novel these two
stories are separate, but both narratives are fraught with tension and
the foreboding feeling that something nefarious is going to happen. The
dual plots both move at a quick pace and are equally engaging and
compelling. Beyond the two mysteries in these dual story lines, is the
underlying mystery of how these two stories are going to merge. They do
merge and in a manner that is unpredictable until it is about to happen.