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The End of Cuthbert Close by Cassie Hamer

This fabulous, delightful read by Cassie Hamer, tells the story of three women who live in the same neighbourhood and share a remarkable friendship, that is, until a newcomer arrives and threatens to disrupt everything that made living in Cuthbert Close special.

Corporate lawyer and mother, Alex, widow, food-stylist and single-mother, Cara, and the oldest of the trio, stay-at-home mother and talented cook Beth, live busy but satisfying lives in a terrific cul-de-sac in an upmarket part of town. Their lives are spent caring for their families, working, socialising, and feeling gratitude for what they have, including each other.

But when one summer’s evening, at the annual street party, a removalist van gate-crashes the event, bringing new neighbours – the svelte and glamourous wife and teen daughter of the lifestyle guru, the Instafamous, Primal Guy, their small world is turned topsy-turvy.

Suddenly, marriages, plans, domestic arrangements and even dreams go awry. Is it just time for things to change, even for the worse, or is something closer to home causing trouble in this suburban paradise?

This is a clever, really entertaining book that not only captures the suburban life of some people, but portrays the complications and joys of motherhood, female friendship, neighbours, relationships, kids and marriages so very well.

The dialogue snaps and is often laugh-out-loud funny but at the same time can deliver depth and be incredibly moving. The women are so relatable with their triumphs, self-doubt, foibles and flaws and you genuinely come to care about them. Likewise, the men and children are familiar types that you can identify with easily.

I so enjoyed this book – found it hard to put down – and even though I saw the twist, it didn’t spoil a thing as I loved how it came together and resolved. A wonderful, charming and yet surprisingly poignant novel, that’s so well written and will linger in your head and heart long after the last page is turned

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