EXCERPT: Saffron: It’s not Miles I have problems with, but you, Caprice. His mother. A frail and lonely widow, with kind eyes and a swan-like neck? Or the mother-in-law from hell with a witches cackle for a laugh? Either way, you have infiltrated our lives.
ABOUT ‘THE UNWELCOME GUEST’: Saffron vowed to love Miles no matter what life threw at them both. But when her mother-in-law moves into their happy family home, Saffron’s shiny life begins to tarnish.
Even as Caprice’s barbed comments turn to something more sinister, Saffron hopes the new nanny’s arrival will shield her from the worst of it. She’s starting to feel paranoid in her own home.
Little does she realise that Caprice longs for a new daughter-in-law – and she’ll do anything to make that happen…
MY THOUGHTS: I thought my first mother-in-law was the MIL from hell, but compared to Caprice, she was a mere amateur. Mind you, she never had Caprice’s resources.
The Unwelcome Guest is told from many points of view, probably too many. Saffron; her husband Miles; Caprice, Miles’ mother; Hayley, the nanny; and Aiden, Miles’ brother.
I did a read/listen of The Unwelcome Guest as I was lucky enough to receive both the Kindle and Audio ARC. The audio has 5 narrators, which should have been a bonus,but in the end irked me. Let me explain. Instead of each narrator doing their own character’s voice, they merely read the chapter from their character’s point of view. So we have the narrator telling Saffron’s point of view doing all the characters voices in that chapter. Most of the time it was okay. But Hayley, the nanny, came from New Zealand, and one of the narrators made an absolute hash of her accent, giving her a distinctive Aussie twang. If the production is going to have a different narrator for each character, is it really that much of a stretch to have them do their own character’s voices?
I loved the idea of The Unwelcome Guest, but because we knew what an evil old cow Caprice was and what she was up to throughout, it killed the suspense.
But if you are looking for a quick, easy and entertaining read, or you have the mother-in-law from hell, The Unwelcome Guest will fit the bill nicely. There’s not much depth to any of the characters, but that doesn’t really seem to matter. There’s not much reason, either, to like any of them but, again, that hardly seems to matter. Probably the nicest of the bunch, other than the children, is Julie, Aiden’s ex-wife and Saffron’s PA. Oh, did I mention that she is also Miles’s ex-girlfriend?
Don’t go into this expecting mystery or suspense. You won’t get it. What you will get is an easy, fun read with a couple of satisfying twists at the end.
Other than my above niggle about the narration, I thought the narrators did an excellent job.
I: @amandarobsonauthor #harpercollinsukaudio @avonbooksuk
T: @AmandaRobson @HarperCollinsUK @AvonBooksUK
#audiobook #contemporaryfiction #familydrama
THE AUTHOR: After graduating, Amanda Robson worked in medical research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and at the Poisons Unit at Guy’s Hospital, where she became a co-author of a book on cyanide poisoning. Amanda attended the Faber novel writing course and writes full-time.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Avon Books UK and Harper Collins UK audio via Netgalley for providing digital and audio ARCs of The Unwelcome Guest written by Amanda Robson, narrated by John Hopkins, Claire Vousden, Olivia Mace, Natalie Beran and Thomas Delacourt for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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