*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.
Just because she knows that her former best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora Braid for twelve years.
But she can’t resist. She parks outside Flora’s house and watches from across the road as Flora and her children, Thomas and Emily, step out of the car. Except…
There’s something terribly wrong.
Flora looks the same, only older – just as Beth would have expected. It’s the children that are the problem. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily Braid were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then. They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Beth hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.
They are no taller, no older.
Why haven’t they grown?
I am already a huge fan of Sophie Hannah’s poetry, so was very excited to try one of her crime thrillers, and I wasn’t disappointed!
The hook of Haven’t They Grown is amazing. Beth goes poking her nose around the house that her old friend Flora moved to twelve years ago, when they severed all contact with each other. She’s not really sure what she is looking for, or what she hopes to achieve, but she certainly doesn’t expect to see Flora with her two children, Thomas and Emily… and neither child appears to have aged at all!
Wow! I was immediately hooked, because what possible – non-magical – explanation could there be?! And I couldn’t stop reading either, because the more information Beth uncovers, the more confused she and I became. I had absolutely no clue what could be going on, right up until the big reveal, and I was happy just to hang on and enjoy the ride.
Sophie Hannah has created a twisty, well-written suspense thriller and her characters are thoroughly believable, even despite Beth’s utter obsession with needing to know. To be honest, when it came to the Braid family and their mysteriously ageless children, I needed to know too!
Definitely don’t start this one just before bed. It’s not scary… you just won’t be able to put it down until it’s finished.
The little girl turns and, for a second, looks straight at me.
It’s her. That T-shirt with the fluffy sheep on it…Le petit mouton.
The girl I’m looking at is Emily Braid, except she’s not fifteen, as she should be – as she must be and is, unless the world has stopped making sense altogether.
This is the Emily Braid I knew twelve years ago, when she was three years old. And Thomas…I can’t see all of his face, but I can see enough to know that he’s still five years old, as he was when I last saw him in 2007.
I have to get out of here. I can’t look any more. Everything is wrong.
– Sophie Hannah, Haven’t They Grown
Haven’t They Grown is available on Amazon right now!