Other Parents by Sarah Stovell @HQstories #PublicationDay #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Other Parents by Sarah Stovell. This is a brilliant book and one that is so addictive. It is a contemporary fiction that definitely gets darker as the story progresses.

My huge thanks to HQ Stories for my copy of this book. Also, Happy Publication Day to Sarah and the HQ team.

They all have opinions.
They all have secrets.


In a small town like West Burntridge, it should be impossible to keep a secret. But the problem with having your nose in everyone’s business is that you can miss what’s staring you in the face.

Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.

Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Jake don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.

When the local school introduces a new LGBTQ+-friendly curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate. But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what’s happening in your own home.

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read a book by this author, although I do have a couple of books on my kindle waiting to be read!

This is a dark read that consists of various parents and their opinions, views, the way they live and how they interact. The school gate is shown as quite a vicious arena for the parents in this story. What one parent see’s as wrong another see’s as being ok. Opinion divides and it also cements in this story.

The parents, well the focus is on the mothers and what a cross-section they are. Set in a rural area where the school is outstanding and therefore the pressure of fitting in with what is seen as “the norm” is very apparent. So when one parent bucks the trend and does something that doesn’t go down well.

There are various themes dealt with in this book, one is based around a same-sex couple and the views of bigotted parents with regards to teaching an all-inclusive curriculum that also includes LGBTQ+. While this is a large focus of the story it is done from various perspectives, that of the couple involved, the family dynamics and also the opinions of others.

This is sort of the crux of the story but one that is gradually expanded as other characters are drawn in. The story is told from the viewpoint of these characters and so it did take me a while to get all the characters set in my memory. This meant it had a slower start for me but then suddenly I was completely hooked.

This book explores the opinions and views of the characters and each one is entitled to their own opinion. However, their opinions go from private to public and this leads to some interesting interactions. There are times when you need to make a stand, times when you need to wait and see what the larger picture is and once battle lines are drawn then you stand up for what is right.

This story deals with social and class issues. It shows very different sides to parenting and how people deal with bringing up their children and how they support them. This almost had a noirish feel to it, there was subtle intimidation feel giving it a slight psychological feel to it.

I really enjoyed this book, it is tense, dark and focuses on 5 women. It is one for those who enjoy contemporary fiction and one that I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx