A Tidy Ending: The latest dark comedy from the Sunday Times bestselling author

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A Tidy Ending: The latest dark comedy from the Sunday Times bestselling author

A Tidy Ending: The latest dark comedy from the Sunday Times bestselling author

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She goes on about the number of reports she’s made, and we get a good picture of her as the neighbourhood busybody. Piglet is the searing, unforgettable and original debut which is set to take readers by storm in 2024. I really do like the sound of the British use of “settee’ instead of “couch” (it’s much prettier and flow-y on the tongue), but after a while, I’m telling you, settee can get old. A couple of weeks later, they began to appear, furious little spots all over my body red and unhappy, demanding to be scratched.

It’s a silly way of putting it, really, because it makes it sound as if you’ve got something to hide, and I don’t think there’s anything about me that’s interesting enough to be hidden. But the loss of her father has never left Linda; she thinks about him constantly and how his death affected her small family.

But that seems fairly standard - until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women in the town start to go missing. All the characterisation is good such as Linda’s mother Eunice who my mother would have described as ‘quite a card’ but Linda’s characterisation is outstanding. A Tidy Ending’s lead character Linda’s first-person narrative, initially exudes a vibe similar to Nita Prose’ The Maid and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, in that her world-view is small and heavily shaped by past traumatic events. How did what you read in these scenes influence what you thought would happen in the central timeline? Joanna Cannon is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling debut novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, which has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK alone and has been published in 15 countries.

Read The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, Joanna Cannon’s novel set in 1976 about two ten-year-old sleuths investigating the mysterious disappearance of a neighbor in their small town. The story is written in the first person perspective of Linda and comes from two timelines – Now' and what I suppose is 'Then'. Linda prides herself on being observant, on remembering details, and she’s noticed that Terry is departing from his usual schedule, one of several things that are suddenly out of the ordinary with her husband.

The reader can see what is happening when others edge away and pretend to be busy but Linda appears oblivious, bless her. She picked it up because quite by accident I’d left it right in the middle of the chair where she always sits. This isn’t a mystery per se, but there are several plot lines I couldn’t wait to see how they would play out. Sometimes, it's as though you haven't spoken at all, as if your world or their world are running quite happily side by side, but there isn't any way of moving between one and the other.

Cannon’s shrewd characterisation, sparky observations and subtly menacing plot makes this a darkly funny and delightfully sinister read. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images View image in fullscreen ‘A masterclass in misdirection’: author Joanna Cannon at Oxford literary festival in March 2017.I really enjoyed everything in this book, except how exaggerated the main character’s cluelessness was. Soon after Clare is deserted by her husband, she meets new neighbour Louisa, who persuades her to help with a business venture, providing catering for funerals.

Linda’s husband Terry isn’t perfect—he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house, and spends most of his time in front of the TV. Linda relates her story from within some sort of care facility, six weeks after everything happened, but it’s soon apparent that she’s an unreliable narrator. Under-stimulated by her humdrum life, and the frequent target of ridicule and gaslighting from both her husband and mother, Linda finds a private delight in poring over fashion and lifestyle catalogues that arrive in the mail for the mysterious Rebecca, meanwhile fantasising about a more exciting existence of her own.But when he starts to spend long hours at work which is an odd thing for him to do Linda becomes suspicious, especially when at the same time young women in the area start to go missing. When a police officer tells you there’s nothing to worry about, you know it’s time to be concerned” and “Because when something extraordinary happens, if you concentrate on the ordinary things instead, it stops you from having to look at it all too closely.

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