*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author and Hodder & Stoughton. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Sally, Al and Mike have known each other for twenty years. Now approaching their fortieth birthdays, life has proven more unpredictable than they could have imagined. But despite the disappointments, heartaches and regrets, their friendship has endured.
And now there is Faye, Mike’s new girlfriend – still in her twenties, carefree and uninhibited. She reminds the friends of their younger selves, of old loves and missed chances.
Maybe Faye influenced what happened next? Why they did what they did. Whatever the reasons, one reckless night is about to change all of their lives for ever.
Four is a very British novel about unhappy people, in unsatisfying relationships, making bad decisions.
Two white, middle-class, middle-age (well, three of the four are) couples have a ‘night of madness’; drinking heavily, taking drugs and, eventually engaging in some sexual adventures with each other’s partners.
We see that the combination of the substances they imbibe, the titillating play they watch and the general feeling of ‘what happens on holiday, stays on holiday’ leads to a gradual erosion of their inhibitions and a slip of the public masks they wear, causing their true feelings and deeper secrets to float to the surface with some very disruptive consequences.
The following day (and days) bring regrets – big and small – and all four of the characters have to re-evaluate their lives and relationships with each other, as the simmering undercurrents of resentment and jealousy begin to bubble to the surface.
This is not a novel of action, or huge events. It is a story about ordinary people who have allowed their lives to drift in unsatisfying directions and are now forced to face the truth of their dissatisfaction and make some difficult decisions about where to go next. And more particularly, who with.
Great for fans of serious, slow-paced and realistic relationship novels, but not if you are looking for something fun or uplifting, or a happy ending!
Like actors in a play.
Isn’t that what they were now? All of them pretending to be something they weren’t; this rented house the stage, the set.
Faye, it seemed, was flirting with Al. Maybe teasing Mike, maybe trying to ingratiate herself with his best friend. Or was it an attempt to flatter Sal, by showing approval for her choice of husband?
Were they really flirting or where they pretending? These hands across the table, the touched shoulders and blown kisses, the clumsy allusions.
– Andy Jones, Four
Four is available on Amazon right now!