The novel Darling Girls starts with three women, Jessica, Norah and Alicia, being contacted by a police detective. Although not related by blood, these three women feel they are sisters after each of them was rescued from different family tragedies as children, and given a chance of a second chance by being raised on an idyllic farming estate.
As adults, Jessica runs a successful home organisation business, and Alicia looks after troubled children. When they get the detective’s phone call, their first thought is that troubled Norah is in trouble with the law again. And in fact, when Norah gets the call, she reacts by punching a man in the face, which adds a complication to the story later on.
But the call is not about Norah; it turns out a body has been discovered at Wild Meadows Farm during evacuations, and the story then follows the current investigation, but also the events from twenty-five years ago.
It turns out the three ‘sisters’ childhood wasn’t the fairytale everyone thinks it was, and the foster sisters are thrust into the spotlight of the investigation as key witnesses. Or are they the suspects?
Meanwhile, an anonymous woman is in sessions with a therapist bout Wild Meadows. Who is she, and what is her part in this story?
Darling Girls is completely unputdownable, and such an emotionally compelling story, as well as being both dark and funny at the same time. What a triumph! This is a domestic thriller you will want to read, but I warn you, you won’t get anything else done until you have read the final, brilliant page.
Reviewer: Karen McMillan