Set on the beautiful Gower Peninsula in Wales, “Too Close to Home” is the first novel I have ever read by Susan Lewis. If I had to classify it, I would say it was women’s fiction with didactic overtones.
Jenna Moore, suffering from writer’s block, is a published novelist and busy mother of four who has recently moved to Wales from London. Now she lives in her ‘dream house’. She and her husband Jack have started up a new business venture, a company called “Celticulture” which aims to professionally represent aspiring authors and publish their work in electronic format.
Then Jenna begins to suspect that Jack might be having an affair… Changes abound and her world begins to crumble due to the fact that her marriage and the new business are in dire jeopardy.
Paige Moore, the second protagonist, is Jenna’s fifteen year old daughter. She is a beautiful and talented teenager who excels at school. Then – it quickly becomes apparent that Paige is a victim of bullying, both the cyber variety and the up close and personal kind.
The novel accurately and sometimes painfully describes the immense damage that can be created by bullying while simultaneously painting an empathetic portrait of a family in crisis. A crisis which has been precipitated by deception, secrecy, and betrayal. It also perfectly describes the anguish of parents everywhere. The inherent guilt, fear, and worry which accompanies the role.
“Too Close to Home” was rendered with skill. Naturally flowing dialogue coupled with engaging and believable characters made the reader become invested in their outcome. A modern story of a family with modern problems.
I would definitely read another novel by this talented author and look forward to doing so. Recommended!
“Too Close to Home” is available online and in bookstores now.
Born in England in 1956, she lost her mother to cancer when she was only nine years old. She now lives with her partner James and dogs in Gloucestershire, England.