Darling

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This is a post-Brexit thriller about a black woman who starts dating a white man with a teenage daughter and the relationship between the three of them. I struggled through this and only really finished it because I'm stubborn. The ending is good though and a total surprise. The 2 points of view are well written in that you definitely know which person. Not a bad book but not a great one for me.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a good read. A great plot with strong characters. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and Rachel Edwards for the copy of this book. I agreed to give my unbiased opinion voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
Well this is a fab read, so Darling wants Lola’s Dad but doesn’t want Lola, and Lola doesn’t want a new stepmum!

Let the fun begin haha as there’s no love lost between these two! I hated both characters and found them just as I likeable as each other, it’s a very good read even though it’s full of conflict and pretty tense, I’d recommend it if you enjoy this kind of genre!
Was this review helpful?
A creepy read that held my interest. It had a slow build up but it was worth it. This book kept me up way past my bed time. I loved it!!
Was this review helpful?
Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley. I really struggled with this book. Whilst it was an easy read, I found both narrators to be thoroughly unlikeable, although Edwards captures their different voices well. To its credit, I didn't predict the ending at all, but it wasn't my cup of tea.
Was this review helpful?
I can't give this book a rating and remain fair because I only managed to read just over 40% of the book. 

This author has a very distinctive voice, but it wasn't one that I could engage with. I also felt that there was too much crammed into the novel for me to really latch onto the story and invest in it. The book opens like a thriller but then progresses as a social commentary. There should have been a delicious tension in the dynamic between Darling and Lola, but I quickly guessed the manipulative nature of Darling, and that Lola might be a spoiled brat, but she was also a teenager having to cope with massive upheaval in her family life in a very short space of time. 

So, not one for me, but that's largely because of my reading preferences rather than a criticism of the book. 

My thanks go to the publishers and Net Galley for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
# Darling # Netgalley 
I must have well and truly gone off with the plot on this book, I was almost 100% that I had already reviewed this book. It’s twisty fairly fast paced turny, in some parts emotional and others some things that get said could be almost on the edge of cruelty. There’s certainly no love lost between step mum and daughter. In fact I really think the author has definitely gone to town with both of them.,it’s most definitely a book worthy to be read, thoroughly enjoyed the book, I think you would too.
Was this review helpful?
3 for neutral!  Was not for me.  Will update later, if I can get into it and enjoy.  
Will post a challenge in Chapter Chatter Pub!
Was this review helpful?
Wow sat down to read a few pages never got up till I read the last page.Thriling haunting chilling .Run get this book. The relationship between a stepmother &stepdaughter trouble from the first hello first sight.This book touches on so manny topics emotions blended families life even Brexit tense original grab this book,#netgalley #harpercollinsuk.
Was this review helpful?
This book just . . .  it didn't work for me. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. The book felt as though it was trying to do too much, juggling genres that didn't quite gel together. I also didn't like any of the characters, and I just couldn't get behind the story. I couldn't finish this - I failed to grip me and instead just left me confused and annoyed
Was this review helpful?
Wow this was a brilliant & thrilling read everything I could want from this type of book.  I would recommend this book to anyone.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this prior to publication. 
There’s no escaping the fact that this is almost two books in one. One aspect of the book examines race and attitudes to race in post-Brexit England, through the eyes of Darling (a black woman) who gets a stepdaughter, Lola, when she marries Thomas. The other aspect - which doesn’t come to the fore until later - focuses on the relationships between the characters and the events that develop once they’re all living together. They were both of interest but neither really felt fully done.
Darling was quite a confusing character and the way her story is narrated means I’m still a little uncertain as to how much her tale was to be trusted. Too many details were left rather loose for my liking, which was a shame as this was an interesting idea.
Was this review helpful?
Very confusing story which I couldn't get to grips with. It is a story in two parts but they didn't really fit..
Was this review helpful?
I loved the premise of Darling so was very excited to read this, and this was truly a binge-worthy read to be consumed in one sitting. 
Told from the POVs of Darling, a black woman who marries Thomas, a white widowed middle-class father of a teenage daughter, Lola, after a whirlwind 3 month romance, and Lola, a 16-Year old who resents her black stepmother, this is is a mix of post-Brexit and domestic noir using race to create tension in the home. The writing is easy to read and pacy with some poignant and sharp lines like:
“I had learned from a young age that there were those who would look at me and assume I was poorer, less intelligent, less cultured, a quandary solved upon sight; sexually incontinent, insanitary, ill-mannered and ill-educated for good measure. Not everyone, not most , even. But for those who saw colour and wanted you to know it, these were the cudgels with which they daily tried to crack your thick black skull.“
Despite this I give Darling 3.5. While there is lots of tension and conflict I found the ending unsatisfying and that certain plot strands don’t tie up. In the end I felt like Edwards was cramming into too much and with another edit this could’ve been a better and tighter read. Having said this Darling does stand out and if you want to read something new in the psychological thriller genre then give this a go.
Was this review helpful?
This book has everything I want in a thriller. I won't go into too much detail, but it's safe to say that Edwards masterfully handles this story.
The beginning sets a tone that feels like literary fiction, balancing a blooming romance with disrupted family life. My expectations were moulded by this set-up, and reinforced by the focus on the fraught relationship between step-mother and step-daughter. Some way into the novel, I began to see narrative possibilities opening up, but every time I thought I'd guessed how the plot would go, it was gently but firmly guided down another path. Thrillers are sometimes up-ended by the author or publisher's desire to wrong-foot the reader, but the surprises which Edwards lays out do not undermine the larger story, and suspense of disbelief is left firmly intact.
I felt that themes of prejudice are well handled; racism is integral to the plot, but it is written in in such a way that I often felt jarred by experiences without being catapulted out of the action. Edwards manages to portray people who are not necessarily vehemently racist themselves, but can sit passively while others are, without ever really considering the consequences of their own inaction. It is sometimes hard to think of prejudiced people as people with complex internal lives, but the author portrays these thought processes very well indeed.
I was interested by the marketing tagline that describes this as a novel for Brexit Britain. According to the end notes, it was conceived of after the author was racially abused in the days following Brexit, and the contents of the novel very much deal with racism and fractured community. However, this feels like a piece that would be relevant at any time in recent history; I could see myself enjoying it in ten years' time and predict that it will age well. Although I have chosen to highlight racism in this review, I could just as easily have picked out the fact that this novel investigates mental health, or relationships between women, or families. In other words, this is a nuanced piece of writing that I recommend.
The reason I have held off giving this novel 5 stars is that I felt like I picked up one book and put another one down. This is not due to plot inconsistencies or an unsatisfying ending: instead, I felt that the editing had done something strange. Genre can be very restrictive and somewhere along the way it felt as if the book was being shoehorned into the thriller category. This could just as easily have been a work of literary fiction that shared characteristics with thrillers (or vice versa) but the opening scene created a set of expectations that I was constantly reaching back to, and I often found myself trying to draw parallels between that moment and what was unfolding as I read. I am interested in how thrillers in particular work - how does the author / editor choose what information to reveal, and when? - and I'd like to know how I would have experienced this book without the very first few pages. I think my experience would have been different - not necessarily better, but I think I would have stumbled at each turn in the narrative with a little more surprised pleasure. Having said that, I had a lot of fun trying to guess what was going to happen, so I don't suppose it really matters.
Was this review helpful?
Lola and Darling are rivals for dad Thomas’s attention, not to mention racism.  Didn’t like the storyline, characters or stereotyping Brexit supporters.  Interesting book, but not really my cup of tea this time.
Was this review helpful?
With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the book in exchange for an honest review.
The story was told by the two main characters, Darling and Lola. The step- mother and step-daughter. It made for an interesting read.
 Neither of the two main characters were particularly likeable, although Lola was only 16.
A wide range of topics were discussed throughout the book, brexit, white supremacy people BNB,  muchausen’s syndrome, Duchenne  Muscular  Dystrophy and child sex abuse and teenage pregnancy.
An interesting read.
Was this review helpful?
Excellent, pure and simple. From the first page the prose grabs you and takes you with it, depositing you breathless a few hours later, full of awe at the visceral writing style of Rachel Edwards. Will definitely be seekng out this author’s other books!
Was this review helpful?
When I first started this novel, I thought at last a novel that bravely covers the racism  that has been raised over Brexit but then it seemed to just become another love story with a stepdaughter who doesn’t care for her father’s girlfriend..  An average read for me.
Was this review helpful?
Darling is an addictive, shocking, twisting thriller that had me hooked from the first few pages.  I enjoyed the dual narratives - from Darling, black step mother and Lola, teenage nightmare - the lurking suspicions and the cranking up of tension, and I certainly didn't see the twist at the end. I also enjoyed the descriptions of Caribbean food woven through the story as Darling sets about nurturing her new blended family.  This is well written, lots of layers, bang up to date, well worth reading.
Was this review helpful?