For my next read I decided to go back to my roots when it came to picking a book. I hopped onto the Kindle store and looked at the days selection of 99p books. There were a lot there that just didn’t seem my cup of tea, but more than one caught my eye and it was a tough choice. I landed on Here To Stay by Mark Edwards. Elliot has a great life, he runs a successful business that has allowed him to buy and restore his dream home, and he’s completely loved up with his new wife, Gemma. But after their honeymoon, Gemma asks if her parents and younger sister can come to stay for a while after moving to England from France. Elliot agrees, thinking it would be a good chance to get to know his in-laws, and they’d only be staying for a couple of weeks.
Oh, if only. It turns out Gemma hasn’t spoken to her parents for a long time, they clearly have a strained relationship. Her parents, Jeff and Lizzy are odd, to say the least. They don’t have much respect for Elliot or his house, and Gemma’s sister Chloe is clearly ill and needing medical attention. It becomes clear to Elliot after a couple of weeks that Jeff and Lizzy have no intention at all of ever moving out, and now he doesn’t know how to get rid of them.
This book is DARK. It’s so much more than irritating in-laws, but I obviously won’t go into detail. It’s a fast-paced read with twists and turns at every corner and would make a fantastic movie or one-off series. I actually pictured Jeff and Lizzy as the odd parents from Kajillionaire (2020) easily, and I really struggle to actually picture characters when I’m reading. This could have easily been a 5/5 read for me if not for a few details.
It’s just hard to believe that a character like Elliot, so smart and sensible would actually allow any of this to happen, and to miss all the signs, too. It’s so frustrating, like the book equivalent to shouting at dumb characters in horror movies. The last couple of chapters more than make up for it, though. There’s a big reveal that I had sussed out early on but an even bigger one that blind-sided me. All in all, well worth a read as long as you know where to set your expectations.
Also, according to my Goodreads Challenge I am 2 books ahead of schedule for hitting my goal of 20 books read in 2021. Huzzah!