‘I INVITED HER IN… and she took everything…..’
I Invited Her In is the latest novel from best selling author Adele Parks.
Published on 20th September by HQ Stories, it is described as ‘a gripping story of friendship and betrayal’
Adele Parks is the author of seventeen Sunday Times bestsellers and is currently in the top 1% of the most-borrowed library authors, with her books translated into twenty-six languages.
I received my copy from Harper Collins Ireland in return for my voluntary and unbiased review.
About the Book:
When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.
Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.
Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…
This dark, unsettling tale of the reunion of long-lost friends is thoroughly gripping exploration of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.
Mel is happily married to Ben, working in a high-street clothes shop and living in suburbia. With two little girls and a teenage son, life for Mel is good. Having left college before she completed her degree, due to an unplanned pregnancy, Mel had experienced tough years as a single mum to Liam. Those early years created a very strong bond between Mel and Liam. making her quite protective of him. Very slow to bring a man into their lives, Mel was surprised when she met Ben and fell in love. Ben treated Liam as his own from the beginning and the family muddled on with life in their own haphazard but happy manner.
Out of the blue, Mel receives an email from a very old college buddy, Abi. Currently living in the US, Abi is in the throes of a marriage breakup. She had married a college boyfriend and together had lived a successful, but not so happy life in America. Reeling from discovering her husband with another woman, Abi needs a break away and hopes to rebuild her friendship with Mel. With plans to arrive in the UK, Mel invites Abi to stay with them for a few days while she figures out her next move.
Mel and Abi had a great friendship in university but it had fizzled out after Mel gave birth to Liam. Mel never got to fully experience those years after college when first salaries are earned and blown on the fun stuff, the social life, the clothes. Mel is really excited that Abi has come back into her life and relishes the prospect of some girlie fun with her college bestie. Mel’s life has become rather mundane, as the daily chores pile up on her, and Abi is just the tonic she needs to reinvigorate her daily routine and shake things up a little.
But Mel gets a little more than she bargains for, when the full impact of her decisions comes home to her….
Now here’s the thing with this book, one minute I was riveted by the story-line and next thing I was almost shouting at the characters, feeling very frustrated with their behaviour. As Abi settles into her life in Mel and Ben’s home, it’s all very sweet and fun at the beginning but as time passes, things unravel and the truth is slowly revealed. Mel seems blinded by what’s going on, caught up in reliving her youth with Abi. Ben, on the other hand, seems more rational at times, yet at other times I felt his reactions were bizarre….
Some of the decisions made by both Ben and Mel are quite incredible but also so very different. Their reactions to quite disconcerting scenarios are so contrasting that I began to wonder is this just a gender issue. Do men and women have such diverging views about certain scenarios? Does Adele Parks capture these differences accurately?
I’m strangely on the fence with this book. I thought the story-line was brilliantly twisted and sinister, yet I just could not warm to any of the characters. I had to keep asking myself how plausible was the plot-line and how much was I willing to suspend belief for…..
I Invited Her In is a novel that reveals the dangers of keeping secrets buried and of revenge and regret. Someone somewhere will ALWAYS uncover the truth and when this happens are you prepared to deal with the consequences?
I Invited Her In is an entertaining and interesting read, with plenty of themes to be chewed over and discussed. I am delighted to have read it, even though I am still shouting at Mel, which is a credit to Adele Park’s writing!!
Purchase Link ~ I Invited Her In
Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she’s had seventeen international bestsellers, translated into twenty six languages.
She’s been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa and is a keen supporter of The National Literary Trust.
She’s lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, son and cat.
Website ~ https://www.adeleparks.com/
Twitter ~ @adeleparks