Safe At Home – Lauren North

What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened?

Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin.

Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won’t explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip.

Anna is convinced there’s a connection and that Harrie is in trouble.

But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn’t know where the danger is coming from?

Book Information: Print Length: 374 pages. Publisher: Transworld. Publication Date: 9 Sept 2021

Lauren writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside

My Review

This is my first book by Lauren North and I read it with several other members of THE Book Club as a readalong.

The book is narrated by Anna, a lovely mother of 3 girls (twins and a younger child), who is currently raising her family alone in a new village whilst her husband works overseas. She appears at first quite anxious and overly-protective and despite her gut instinct, agrees to leave one of the twins (11 year old Harrie) home alone for an hour whilst she collects the other twin. However due to a tragic car crash, she is stuck in traffic for hours, unable to contact Harrie and fearing the worst.

When they eventually get home, Harrie is sound asleep, Anna is relieved but this is shortlived as in the morning Harrie has unexplained bruises and becomes sullen, withdrawn and aggressive.

As a mother, the opening few chapters really grabbed my attention and I was immediately faced with what I would do in this situation. As parents it’s our responsibility to protect our children to the best of our ability and I really felt for Anna. She was confused, worried, scared, concerned and felt alone in dealing with Harrie.

As the story unfolds, the sleepy village that Anna has called home for the last few years, starts to show some cracks, the school mums start to close ranks and gossip starts circulating.

This book really captures the feelings of a small village with the neighbours determined to protect themselves and any guilty secrets they are hiding and a loving parent who just wants her daughter to be happy and safe.

Throughout the book I was trying to work out what really did happen to Harrie during those few hours and I was constantly changing my mind the more the story unravelled. If you like twisty, fast paced and gripping thrillers, then you should definitely read Safe At Home.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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