- Non Fiction
The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins
List Price: £7.99
Paperback: 496 Pages.
Published: 19 April 2018 by Quercus
Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.
Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia's book is based. She has now become Olivia's unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.
As events move between London, Sussex and the idyllic South of France, the relationship between these two women grows more entangled and complex. Then a bizarre act of violence changes everything.
The Night Visitor is a compelling exploration of ambition, morality and deception that asks the question: how far would you go to save your reputation?
by Debra Found
Struggled to Put it Down
Professor Olivia Sweetman has far too many balls in the air - an achademic career, the imminent release of her first book, a fledgeling TV career, three children one of whom is a teenage boy rapidly heading off the rails and a husband who is never there. Throw into the mix an au pair that she doesn't like much but is relying on and Olivia is barely holding onto her life. Then there is Vivian. A socially inept, very clever woman approaching retirement age. She does the research for Olivia's book but stays in the background. She is, however, keen to collaborate on a new book about the chocolate cream poisoner. Olivia is not.
Olivia is not that unusual a woman. Many women juggle demanding careers as well as family life. However, for Olivia it is all starting to fall apart. Olivia seems to be a reasonably ordinary woman that you'd meet at a party and think she seemed very nice. Vivian is odd. She is very socially awkward and likes to lead quite a solitary and routine life. She is also highly intelligent. Eccentric is an ideal word for Vivian. Whether she is on the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum or struggling from a childhood trauma is anyone's guess.
This book is primarily about these two women but there are other bit parts who play significant roles. The characterisation is excellent and there is no doubt in my mind that there are lots of women just like Olivia in the world - maybe not so many like Vivian!
The plot is well structured. The story twists and turns until it reaches an inevitable climax. I have to say that the ending was brilliant and was a crowning glory to a book that I struggled to put down. The ending has left me wondering what happened next...........
I loved this book and found it quick and easy to read.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley.