Happy Publication Day to Samantha Tonge! I am delighted to be involved in the blog blitz for Knowing You. My review is written with thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part and for my copy of the book via Netgalley.
An abrupt change; a new friendship; a dark secret…
Kind-hearted Violet has never fitted in, but despite being bullied at school is now content. She is dating ambitious Lenny, has her dream job in publishing and runs a book club at the local retirement home.
However, when her relationship with Lenny begins to falter, Violet, hurt and alone, seeks the advice of her new flatmate, Bella. She changes her image and with her head held high aims to show that she doesn’t need Lenny in her life to be happy and successful.
Her long-term friends Kath and Farah worry about Bella’s influence and slowly Violet starts to distance herself from them. When she was a child, her closest confidant and companion was a boy called Flint. Her mother didn’t approve of their closeness and he suffered a terrible end. She won’t let the same thing happen to Bella, no matter what anyone says…
Knowing You is about friendship and knowing who to trust with your deepest secrets; it’s about taking control of your life and not being afraid to stand out. Perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan, Gail Honeyman and Amanda Prowse
I enjoyed reading One Summer In Rome by Samantha Tonge last year, and was intrigued to see what her move from romantic comedy to psychological thriller would bring. Knowing You is a slow burner and at first, it is all about the characters. The central character, Violet, seems a little like me: a shy bookworm who is happier on the sofa with a book and a takeaway than painting the town red, so I found it easy to get to know her and relate to her struggles to fit in and move on from her ex-boyfriend. But Violet does not steal the show by herself. Casey is a little more outgoing, but he has a heart of gold and I fell in love with the women at the book club, especially when they began their foray into book blogging and social media! Farah and Irfan, her work colleagues, are also a valuable source of friendship.
There are sections of Knowing You that take the reader back to 2001. These really helped me to feel sympathy for Violet and see how she came to be the way she is. I was intrigued by Flint throughout the novel and wondered how he could be related to events in the present day.
From the beginning, Knowing You is impeccably researched. The publishing industry is one with which Tonge is obviously familiar and this enables her to create a realistic environment for Violet to inhabit. But Tonge also explores several other issues in this novel, which contribute to a rather unexpected twist. I do not want to spoil it, but to make it work must have taken a lot of detailed research and planning.
Knowing You is available from Amazon.