In the Blink of an Eye; I couldn’t put it down!

When I received the email inviting me to read and review In the Blink of an Eye I knew I had to take up the offer. As well as the description of this contemporary novel grabbing my interest, I was intrigued by its writer Kate Hewitt. A few years ago I was privileged to read and review The Girl from Berlin, a powerful World War 2 thriller that Kate wrote. The Girl from Berlin totally gripped me and I still think about the powerful story to this day – it is so thought provoking. What intrigued me about In the Blink of an Eye is that it is a totally different genre to the previous novel I had read by Kate. However this fresh, contemporary novel has many similarities to the historical thriller – it is gripping, full of dramatic tension and explores deep rooted societal beliefs and expectations.

As with The Girl from Berlin, I soon discovered In the Blink of an Eye to be an all-consuming slow burner, emotionally charged and powerfully thought-provoking. I couldn’t put it down!

Told from the point of view of the mothers of three very different seven year-old children, the novel skilfully explores the ramifications of a devastating incident at a birthday party, in which one child is hospitalised and another blamed. It is a deep and captivating analysis of female friendship, the power of gossip, and fear of outsiders and the unknown.

Along with her husband and son Kieran, Joanna is new to the close knit community town of Wetherby. The family want to make a fresh start. However with Kieran’s behaviour deemed as being disruptive in school, Joanna soon realises her family is not very welcome in the area. Natalie and Eleanor have been best friends since their daughters, Freya and Bella, formed a friendship when they were toddlers. Eleanor appears to have everything – she has the looks, the perfect marriage, the perfect home, and the perfect 2.4 children. Recently separated from her husband and experiencing work pressures, Natalie always feels she is in Eleanor’s shadow.

Kate Hewitt

When Eleanor decides to hold an eighth birthday party for her much loved and longed for second daughter Bella, she ropes in Natalie to help. To try and be welcoming Eleanor insists that Kieran is invited to the party too. However an incident occurs between the children at the party that results in devastating consequences. No adult witnesses the incident, yet the finger of blame is soon pointed towards Kieran.

In the Blink of an Eye is a compelling character driven novel full of emotion and tension as it explores female friendship, guilt and blame. It also portrays the destructive power of ignorance and judgemental beliefs. With each of the main characters lives torn apart by the incident and their marriages under scrutiny by each other and the other playground mothers, this is gripping reading. Yet it is also a hopeful.

Reading In the Blink of an Eye has made me recall how much I was completely consumed by Kate Hewitt’s previous novel. I have only read two of the books she has written, and now intend to read more of her novels as I can’t wait to be gripped by her powerful narratives again.

Thank you to Sarah Hardy from Bookouture for inviting me to the blog tour of this fantastic read. To follow the blog tour and read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers, please see below.

In the Blink of an Eye was published on 26 June 2024 by Bookouture, and is available via paperback, Kindle or as an audio book.

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