As soon as I finished The Snakes I realised that this novel has its perfect title…
I absolutely love Sadie Jones’s novels The Outcast and Small Wars (if you’ve never read them, I recommend you do as both are stunning reads). So when I was invited to read and review her latest novel The Snakes to mark its paperback publication (20th February 2020) I jumped at the chance (and also squealed in delight).
In a sense The Snakes is a very different novel to what I am used to from Sadie Jones, mainly because it is set in present day. Yet with its slow burning, simmering tension and dysfunctional family relationships, this novel is so Sadie Jones.
The Snakes is a skillful literary exploration of class, power and money portrayed through married couple Bea and Dan. Travelling through Europe for a few months, they visit Bea’s brother Alex in his rundown, deserted French hotel. To Bea’s despair, her parents who Dan has only met once before also make a surprise visit.
The slow burning unease builds as we the readers are privy to a very dark family secret; yet Bea chooses not to confide in Dan, increasing the raw tension all the more as their relationship starts to fracture.
The fractures intensify as tragedy suddenly strikes and Bea and Dan are forced to confront the contrasts in their upbringings, their values and ultimately the true power wealth and money wields.
This results in a raw, thought provoking novel. I stayed up late reading it to the end as I was desperate to discover the outcome. Yet I was not prepared for the abrupt, menacing twist that shocked me as I’ve never been shocked before reading a novel. I was left churned up inside.
I finished The Snakes days ago but I am still thinking about it. It is a powerful and intriguing novel, full of characterisation and layers. It left me breathless.
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour to publicise the paperback publication of The Snakes. To read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers also on the blog tour, please see below.