You, Me and Other People by Fionnuala Kearney

She's right. Hidden things are so much neater.

Title - You, Me and Other People
Author - Fionnuala Kearney
Publication Date - June 18th 2015
Publisher - HarperCollins
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 432

The blurb

They say every family has skeletons in their closet...

But what happens when you open the door and they won't stop tumbling out?

For Adam and Beth the first secret wasn't the last, it was just the beginning.

You think you can imagine the worst thing that could happen to your family, but there are some secrets that change everything.

And then the question is, how can you piece together a future when your past is being rewritten?

Becca's thoughts

First of all, I'd like to thank Fionnuala Kearney and her publishers HarperCollins for providing me with a digital copy of You, Me and Other People via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I have to admit, this isn't my "usual" type of read, but I am absolutely thrilled that I didn't scroll on by and miss out on a chance to delve into such an incredibly well-plotted and intricate story. The title was what caught my attention first, swiftly followed by the thought-provoking cover, and then finally, I cast my eyes across the blurb and thought, "Wait, this actually sounds pretty interesting. I'm going to give it a go."

Well, it turns out that "pretty interesting" doesn't even begin to cover how completely brilliant this novel was, nor does it cover how I'd now choose to describe it. I noticed the repetitive mention of secrets when I first read the blurb and I wondered what exactly was hidden between the pages, but I wasn't prepared for the emotional fallout that would follow. It was incredibly powerful, intensely gripping and everything that I look for in a fantastic novel. I honestly cannot believe that You, Me and Other People is Fionnuala's debut. I mean wow. Just wow.

You, Me and Other People is split into three parts, each of which I thoroughly enjoyed and provided me with stepping-stones towards the shocking moment of truth. I think what truly did it for me though, what really reeled me in, was the prologue. Right away, the reader is paired with Adam's first person narrative and it immediately becomes clear that something fishy is going on, something sneaky, that Adam is doing something that he shouldn't be doing, which he's hiding from Beth, his wife. Well, I'm a nosy little bugger, so of course once I'd reached the conclusion that Adam was up to something, I refused to put this novel down until I'd found out exactly what that something was. The mystery, Adam's internal dialogue, his actions... It was all very suspicious, and in a completely intriguing, enticing, and incredibly delicious way. Fionnuala had my mind running wild with all sorts of explanations as to where Adam was and his reasoning behind being there. This captivation ensured that I continued with heightened interest, and my interest only continued to grow as I progressed through the novel. I can honestly say that it didn't wane once.

From beginning to end, You, Me, and Other People held me tight within its grasp. As I delved deeper and deeper into the characters' world of deceit and secrets, I felt myself becoming tangled within the web. I was questioning everything, everyone and in all honestly, this is one of those novels that makes you wonder how easily someone you think you know could keep secrets from you. The realisation of how vulnerable we really are, with our emotions and dependency slowly crept up on me and it was unsettling to say the least. What I also adored about this novel was the raw focus on family and the bonds that can be so easily broken despite having existed for so long. It was a real, in-depth look into a family who were anything but perfect. A family who, without even being aware of it, were already crumbling, crumb by tiny crumb.

It's not only Adam's narrative which we read from in You, Me and Other People, but we also get to see things from Beth's side, too, Adam's wife. I absolutely loved this switching of the narrative because it provided me with a look at the plot from the two affected sides. Adam and Beth's daughter, Meg, gave me with a real sense of what it would be like to be in her position. Despite the narrative never actually switching to Meg, I was able to read her character perfectly, via her dialogue and facial expressions. Fionnuala's characters within You, Me and Other People felt so real to me, they could have been any family living in the row of houses across from me in my own street. It's so incredibly difficult to realise that they are in fact fictional!

 By the time I reached the end of You, Me and Other People I felt emotionally drained! These characters had seriously been put through the mill during their story and I couldn't comprehend just how much they'd been through in the novel's 432 pages. The plot was tightly-strung together, the characters lives intrinsically linked and the revealing of this family's secrets enough to knock me over backwards. It had twists, it had turns, it had shocking revelations and all in all, this was one hell of a debut novel that has ensured I will definitely show interest in Fionnuala's future work. 

Becca's Books is awarding You, Me and Other People by Fionnuala Kearney with FIVE DELICIOUS CUPCAKES! With such a riveting storyline and a striking premise, this novel really held it all for me.



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