Book Review: Every Vow You Break by Julia Crouch

Every Vow You Break Julua Crouch- Every Vow You Break

 Format- Paperback

 Source- Review copy

 Publisher- Hachette/ Hodder & Headline

 Publication date- 15 April, 2012

 Synopsis- The Wayland family – Lara and Marcus and their three children – leave England to spend a long, hot summer in Trout Island, Upstate New York. Lara, still reeling from an abortion that Marcus insisted on, hopes the summer away from home will give her time to learn to love her husband again.
A chance meeting at a party reacquaints the family with Marcus’s old actor friend, Stephen, with whom Lara once had an affair. Lara feels herself drawn towards Stephen and they pick up their secret relationship where they left off. Lara knows she’s playing a dangerous game; what she doesn’t know is that it’s also a deadly one.

Review- Every Vow You Break is a thriller set in contemporary America; the Wayland family relocate from England to Trout Island in New York for six weeks. Marcus has accepted a once in a lifetime acting role with the local theatre and hopes to make a break in the U.S. Lara, his wife and three children go along with him for the ride.

Lara feels her marriage is a bit stale and hope the change in scenery will give them the opportunity to re-connect and for her to start her own business and feel like she is making a contribution to the world. They married young and Lara had put aside her own dreams of acting when she fell pregnant with the twins, Olly and Bella, now sixteen years old. Again, her life was put on hold when she fell pregnant with youngest son and when she fell pregnant once again that year; she agreed to get an abortion. Lara is mourning the loss of her unborn child while trying to make her marriage work and keep her moody teenagers happy.

It seems that Lara is always putting everyone else before herself, that is until her teenage sweetheart and celebrity actor Stephen Molloy shows up in town determined to woo her. As Lara battles her feelings for Stephen that have unexpectedly re-ignited she is trying to make sense of all the strange happenings in Trout Island- from the haunted past of the house they are living in, to the missing laundry to the strange woman who appears to be stalking them – there’s something seriously odd about this town. Perhaps the man she thought she loved all these years isn’t quite the same man that left her behind 16 years before.

The story is also told from the POV of Bella, one of the teenage twins who I quite enjoyed getting to know. She has a past that she is ashamed of and I just get the sense that she is really lonely. Then she meets Sean, a young guy in town who she develops feelings for quickly. However, her controlling brother Olly is determined to put a stop to this. In some ways, I felt Olly was a bit of an abusive sociopath and I really never got to know him very well in the story. There wasn’t anything real likeable about him. And I was quite disappointed in the end when much of Bella and Olly’s tension is not resolved. I still felt fearful for her and wanted some reassurance that she would be okay once the book ended.

Every Vow You Break is a thriller with slow-building suspense, a sense of eeriness and gives you the feeling from the outset that something bad is going to happen. There were a few twists and turns and surprisingly there isn’t really a happy wrapped-up ending although I felt satisfied mostly by how things worked out for Lara, but not so much for Bella. Overall, this book was not what I expected but I quite enjoyed the creepiness of Trout Island and the variety of characters that were encountered.

3.5/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK

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