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The Family By Louise Jensen

The Family‘The Family’ is the latest book by Louise Jensen.

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home. But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go. Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

When I should have been sleeping at the weekend, I sat up late reading this book unable to put it down until I reached the final page.

Louise has written a book that’s thrilling and suspenseful with unreliable narratives that makes for exiting reading.

Seen primarily through the eyes of mother and daughter Laura and Tilly, they are struggling to get their lives back on track after the sudden death of their husband/father. Financially unstable, they have no one to turn to since the town has turned on them. Their only offer of help comes from a small community group at the edge of the town, that is rumoured to be a cult. With no other better option, they move in and immediately they are taken care off. Both women in awe of the handsome and charismatic Alex, the leader of Oak Leaf Organics.

Both women are fascinating characters and it’s interesting how different they view each other. Laura tries to be there for her daughter but is pushed away, whilst Tilly tries to help her mother but is seen as a nuisance. Alex is a complex character, idolised by many of the people in the community, he harbours a secret that I found myself racing through the pages to find out.

Eerie and unsettling in places, ‘The Family’ is a well written thriller that really pulls the reader in. Dark and atmospheric from the beginning, the story touches on vulnerability, loss and lies and is the perfect twisty thriller that will keep you guessing until you’ve reached the final page.

You can buy ‘The Family’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Sister By Louise Jensen

The Sister‘The Sister’ is Louise Jensen’s debut novel.

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear that there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend. When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home. But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger? There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie . . . Or was there?

I started reading ‘The Sister’ one evening and was unable to put the book down as I was completely captivated by the story.

In this book, we meet Grace, a young woman who hasn’t quite gotten over the sudden death of her childhood friend Charlie and why she suddenly disappeared one day leaving many unanswered questions behind.

Charlie had quite a troubled childhood, her mother was an alcoholic and she never knew her father and this seemed to have a real impact on Charlie’s life, she would love to find her father but has never delved into it for the fear of upsetting her mother.

When Charlie dies and Grace opens the memory box that they created when they were 15, Grace finds a strange letter from Charlie and decides to fulfil her dead friends’ last wish and look for her father.

So when Anna responds to the advertisement, claiming to be the daughter of Charlie’s father, Grace immediately warms to the young woman and takes her under her wing, when Anna is going through difficulties. Anna becomes a replacement for Charlie and both Grace and Anna become firm friends. But Grace’s boyfriend Dan can’t warm to Anna, he wants her away from the couple and this regularly causes troubles particularly when things begin to happen to Grace and he points the finger of blame at Anna.

The story alternates from past to present tense, about the first meeting of Charlie and Grace and how they became firm friends to the moment of Charlie’s sudden death.

Grace is an interesting character, she’s comfortable in her relationship but knows that the relationship is far from perfect. She misses her best friend, the only person that knew the hidden truth behind her own troubled childhood. She doesn’t judge her and sticks up for her, when other girls pick on her.

I really enjoyed this story, it was an atmospheric and suspenseful story from the very beginning. With a clever plot and an interesting mix of characters, ‘The Sister’ is a wonderfully twisted story, that will have the reader guessing throughout.

You can buy The Sister from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.