Louise Millar The Playdate

When Callie Roberts, a successful sound designer and a mother of a little girl, wants to pick up her career from where she left it off to have a child, she has to ask her best friend and neighbor, Suzy, to help her out with taking care of the child – to take her to school and pick her up on time when she herself is running late being tied up with important clients. Callie’s ex-husband, a photographer shooting somewhere in Africa, is no help to her in this fretful situation. The falseness of what seemingly had been a ‘true’ friendship between Callie and her American friend, Suzy, starts to become apparent once the secrets and lies their friendship was based on emerge to the surface. Betrayal replaces trust once the women learn that the person they thought they could count on and leave their children with appears to be someone completely different.

Captivating, mesmerizing. Each chapter has a strategically planned ending that ensures you continue wanting to know more about the characters and the situation as it develops. Friendships, relationships, marriages – how certain can you really be about knowing another person, their character, past, problems, and reactions under pressure? How often have your friends or relatives surprised you with unexpected comments or actions out of character, something you thought they would never be capable of? The novel draws attention to everyday problems that affront women who are struggling to cope with their multitask lives: juggling to keep children, bosses, husbands happy while trying to steal time to pursue their careers. Extreme pressure, emotional burnout are depicted as an accepted feature of contemporary life, distorting our sense of reality. Where do our priorities lie, where has taking care of one’s own needs disappeared? The author triggers an all too familiar sense of anxiety, fear of failure, insecurity and sense of incapacity to excel in all fronts – with demanding careers and equally demanding children – incapacity to meet others’ expectations. The pressure can push you over the line of sanity.

It is one of those cannot-put-down books that makes you keep going until you reach the final page. An intense journey through the colorful emotional palette that is life.

 

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