Reviews of books I've found to be really rather quite spectacular
I always like these kinds of suffocating, small town with a big secret kind of books. In fact, I dare say I wish I'd written Paradise myself. It was a good length and unravelled perfectly.
Billie was a sweet, sympathetic character and I couldn't help but root for her the whole time. I just wanted her to catch a break. She was stuck playing mum but it didn't turn into a Cinderella/'oh woe is me' type story. She just got on with it and tried to do the best for her family, which was admirable. I wish there had been more about Eva and their burgeoning friendship - if that's what it was. Billie's romance did not seem too forced either. It unfurled organically but Joanna Nadin didn't dwell on it too much because it wasn't the most important love story in the book.
The water theme was appropriate as it is definitely a story of staying afloat during life's storms, rebirth, washing away the past, and starting again. The end was heartbreaking, although you kind of see it coming, however it was still a bit of a shock. It was a bit of a punch in the gut for Billie who had already been through so much but the ending had a glimmer of hope.