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Keep It in the Family

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Twice chosen as Children's Author of the Year in the British Book Awards, Anne Fine was also the first novelist to be honoured as Children's Laureate in the United Kingdom. A story of family, manipulation, and the age-old question of nature vs nurture, Keep it in the Family is very dark and extremely twisted. What stayed in my mind the most when it came to Keep It in the Family was the debate surrounding nature versus nurture, inherited family trauma, double lives, murder, secrets and psychological tendencies.

I’m a huge fan of John Marrs – both as a man and an author – so I couldn’t be more delighted than to participate in this blog tour for his latest book, Keep It In The Family. What’s so unnerving is that Keep It In The Family explores really positive themes like love, loyalty, the desire to protect the innocent, and, obviously, family relationships, but this is no joyous, uplifting read. Secrecy shrouds the mystery of the attic, but when shards of a dark truth start to emerge, Mia realises the danger is terrifyingly present. Keep It in the Family is the type of story that allows you to form theories, opinions and impressions in relation to the events this tale.Calendar arrived safely in plastic-free packaging - which I've not seen before with a calendar, so kudos for that. Keep it in the Family is the perfect blend of fascinating characters, chilling details, and gasp-worthy twists.

But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a shocking message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC. I couldn’t believe what I was reading at times and I know it will possibly raise triggers for some readers in relation to family violence, abuse, death, drug abuse and manipulation of the vulnerable. In this thrilling novel from bestselling author John Marrs, a young couple’s house hides terrible secrets―and not all of them are confined to the past.All of that said, I thought Keep It In The Family was absolutely brilliant and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Keep It in the Family is told from the viewpoints of five different narrators, including the unknown killer of this murder filled tale. I’m also certain that given the right amount of time I would have polished Keep It in the Family off in just one hit. Amongst numerous other awards, she is twice winner of both the Carnegie Medal, Britain's most prestigious children's book award, and the Whitbread Award. I was privileged to interview John at the Deepings Literary Festival earlier this year and he and his books have featured on Linda’s Book Bag many times.

I kept thinking of Tolstoy’s ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of material contained on this site without express and written permission from this site’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. The current day storyline is interspersed with chapters from the past which fill in blanks but also add a lot of flesh to the story and provide very important background information. Alluding to something sinister being connected to their new home, Mia and Finn are compelled to investigate.Darkly disturbing and with twists that just keep on coming, this is John Marrs at his best, bringing you a family very much at their worst. I enjoyed trying to piece the clues together to work out the answer but the clever red herrings left by the author led me to also suspect the innocent at times. I won’t say too much more on this aspect other than Marrs has devised a great bunch of shady characters, I couldn’t work them out until it was too late. She is prepared to do anything to protect her family―but will the previous tenants stop her from discovering their secret? I’ve been a big fan of Marrs’ books since I first read The One upon its release in 2017, and with every book he just gets better.

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